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Henrik Fevre - A Summer Can Change Everything Award winner

Henrik Fevre
A Summer Can Change Everything
by Daniel Fox at 28 November 2015, 12:16 PM

Believe it or not; not all metalheads like to wear black and listen to blastbeats all day. In fact, one would be surprised as to just how wide our listening interests span. Sometimes it’s gentle, vocal-piano music. Sometimes, “A Summer Can Change Everything”, even on Metal Temple, where musings on the most brutal of Slam can be found, especially when the solo project of a member of ANUBIS GATE is involved.

Anyone whom knows me, knows of my erring-on-fanatical appreciation of the Danish Prog band, ANUBIS GATE, and I have made a habit of following the projects and aspirations of their members, be it ex-vocalist Jacob’s old Thrash band INVOCATOR or Morten’s long tenure with PYRAMAZE. However, my introduction to ANUBIS GATE was through their self-titled album, and Henrik’s uncannily “un-metal” voice, melded with the band’s more obviously “metal” proclivities, is what originally got me hooked. I would soon find out the man had his own solo career, the last of which produced an album in 2010 titled “On The Brink Of Something Better”. It contained a variety of tracks far removed from his participation in metal, ranging from jazzy tunes to catchy pop hooks.

2015 sees him returning to his pet project, with a vocal-piano album, titled “A Summer Can Change Everything”. Interestingly it shows yet a different facet to the man; the jazz-pop tendencies are removed and metal is not a focus, but I can’t help but feel the Prog oozing out of it. Even more song-based than his previous release, I feel that the album becomes much more accessible once you become used to picking out your favourite tracks, the majority of which seem to be focussed on lyric and poetry, the piano providing breaks between stanzas. While first impressions may lead one to believe there is a general theme, the song titles may be your guide, and more often and not the music within evokes them, often with one song answering another, as I am to illustrate.

“Live At Sea” begins the album, and even only at just over 4 minutes (I’m speaking as if I’m used to 9-minute Prog anthems, which, hilariously, I am) is the second longest track on the album. Interestingly, when it comes to arrangement, it seems to be one of the more, if not the most, minimalistic tracks on the album, with pregnant pauses that let chords ring sharing as much prominence as the vocals and piano, as if the notes are allowed to float on water. “Love” is the track to follow, and takes on a completely different mood. A shift in key, a shift in time-signature, and a not-so-subtle rhythm to the emotion-filled lyrics, and you’re wrapped up in a touching story of two lovers, where years of ups and downs, disappointment and forgiveness, are felt in the space of 3 minutes.

If I had a personal favourite on the release, “Clouded” would take the cake. In a way, it is one of those most evocative of his writing talents put to use in ANUBIS GATE; Henrik has that rare talent of making melancholy and foreboding, endearing and relatable. If at some point down the album’s tracklist you begin to feel monotony, “Clouded” provides a suitable break; smack-bang in the middle, it is perhaps the album’s most dynamic piece, even though it doesn’t reach the 4 minute mark. A short dash of an electric guitar is present that coincides with the creeping crescendo and mounting pain in the lyrics, and with the dramatic, baritone chords from Henrik's fingers adding no small measure of severity. As if adding medicine to ease the pain, “Pride” follows with an uplifting and wistful mood, leaving no room for the emotions of melancholy, misery and uncertainty, the light at the end of “Clouded”’s tunnel; “…the beautiful princess reminds him that he’s glad”. Sometimes, we all need such a reminder, and that’s how I like to approach this song.

In case I have not made myself clear in talking about the efficacy of this album, the final two songs on the album require special mention. I had to snicker when I saw the 10+ minute runtime for the title track; YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE PROG! In all seriousness, it is somewhat removed from the rest of the album, in its difficulty of access, progression, general atmosphere, and the fact that it comes across as a mini-album all on its own. “We make songs longer than your mixtapes” references aside, constructed in this way, I feel, gives the track a different purpose within the album, requiring a modicum more of active attention, to be thought about as well as felt. It contains longer instrumental sections, more fluidness in the vocal melodies and a more abstract storyline, and is effectively a dream-like escape from the more tangible. “Nextfloor Neighbour”, the album’s closing piece and only at 58 seconds long, is the album’s shortest recording, has that special designation of making a specific message everything if not poignant. On repeat more than any of the previous tracks, its beauty lies in how much it makes you want to figure out, if not relate to, its message.

Jumping out of my “writing comfort zone” and into something like this was an enlightening and thought-provoking decision, and I feel that it should prove to people that, just because one of your favourite musicians has a side-project that isn’t a copy-paste Metal Band, doesn’t mean it is not worth engaging. A reward for fans of excellent song-writing, and especially those who want to hear a different side to the voice of ANUBIS GATE.

Inquire through matchmanrecords@gmail.com for physical copies of the album if it tickles your fancy.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Life At Sea
2. Love
3. The Elegant Dancer
4. Safe
5. Dreams And Compromises
6. Clouded
7. Pride
8. It's Only Me
9. Inconfidence
10. After All
11. A Summer Can Change Everything
12. Nextfloor Neighbour
Lineup:
Henrik Fevre - Vocals and Instruments
Gunnar - Piano on "The Elegant Dancer"
Record Label: Matchman Records
     


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Edited 22 November 2019
 

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