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Jayce Landberg - The Forbidden World

Jayce Landberg
The Forbidden World
by Barbra Katherine at 16 November 2020, 6:47 AM

On November 13th, 2020 Jayce Landberg completed and released a long awaited complete album entitled “Forbidden World”; on which, amidst other projects he’d been working for the better part of the last decade. The album includes the previously recorded & released song entitled “The Promise of Asgaard” - and with this as the opening track, the first five seconds of the song begin with a vocal overdubs that harmonize annunciation of the song name – as the vocals hover to a dominant chord - with vocal tones moving to a sixth chord as an alternate–temporary resolution (in classical harmony this is a entitled a deceptive cadence); but then, the progression falls to the expected root - as the songs then progresses to a sound that combines that of the harpsichord & of the piano - this combination returns back to the root note (chord & key) as Göran Edman sings through each successive verse.

The song ends with the phrase “And day & night I pray the gods / for her to open the gates” - and, to end the song with the beginning–but through an altered state, the song ends upon the (deceptive) sixth chord, as though elevated in Asgaard, rather than falling to the expected root. “Happy 4 U”, the album’s third track, finally seems to slightly move away from Yngwie Malmsteen’s nearly overwhelming degree of influence.   The song progresses to the guitar solo during which chord progressions are suggested, implied–by short accidental harmonic implications (as though an ex-partner, perpetually hoping s/he might resume relations with a former partner, almost does, but never quite reaches the final expectation; while the other partner finds another mate).

“Don’t Believe” begins with a guest singer Erika Norberg rather than Göran Edman.   Interestingly Erika Norberg is a previous partner and former wife of Yngwie Malmsteen - the Swedish guitar player to whom Jayce Landberg is popularly compared. The listener begins to re-think the former assessment that the “Happy 4 U” text is about Jayce Landberg feeling that he is in the shadow of Yngwie - and happy to have known him, but Jayce (or prospective listeners) will no longer believe that Jayce conveys this influence.  This writer suggests that Jayce re-adjusts the settings on his amplifier, and omits the use of introductory passages that introduce his guitar solos - while observing a cease & desist suggestion for the occasional diatonic harmonic sequences that navigate through key changes.

In “Russian Roulette” the listener wonders whether the writer can tolerate the comparison with Yngwie any longer.  The song ends with the final sound of a bullet. “God is Dead” - the album’s seventh track trudges along - with the true sadness of the Nietzschean Concept implied by the title, compares this with the idea that the influence of Yngwie Malmsteen is no longer relevant; and like guest vocalist Erika Norberg moved away from relations with Yngwie, that the listener moves on as well. “Jealousy” opens as a ballad - replete with keyboards, lead guitars with airy reverb and wah - and harmonic resolutions of suspended fourths.

Vyktorya opens–perhaps as an instrumental but the music ends after one minute-forty five seconds of this near ten minute song; the listener wonders whether this borrows Joseph Hyden’s Symphony Number 94 - popularly called The Surprise Symphony due to the enormous decrescendo in the second movement - before the orchestral pop wakes the listener (all this within the first minute of the symphony’s second movement); or the more modern composer by name of John Cage’s who wrote   Four Minutes & 33 Seconds of Silence to test the audience.    The silence persists - until about seven minutes into the song.   The song persists (as though in progress–and entering a verse, Göran Edman sings “My darling I burdening news…”  The listener’s interest piques:  what has happened to Jayce?  Has he feared the near loss of a loved through Covid-19–waiting hopelessly through a medically induced coma?   Three minutes of expectation fulfill the listener as the music continues - of which the answer is with

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Promise of Asgaard
2. Never Love Again
3. Happy 4 U
4. Don’t Believe
5. Russian Roulette
6. Ghosts of Venus
7. God is Dead
8. Jealousy
9. Vyktorya
Jayce Landberg - Guitars, Bass Guitars, Keyboards
Göran Edman - Vocals
Erika Norberg - Guest Vocalist on “Don’t Believe”
James Humphrey - Drums
Record Label: GMR Music Group


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