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Roswell Six - Terra Incognita - A Line In The Sand

Roswell Six
Terra Incognita - A Line In The sand
by Jonathan Maphet at 15 August 2010, 6:08 PM

This album by ROSWELL SIX is a very epic undertaking. The story’s main author is Kevin J. Anderson, and if you think you’ve heard that name before, is very likely that you have. I have read several of his novels. He has written fourteen “Star Wars” books, eleven “Dune” books and even books about the “X-Files”. In my mind, this man is a living legend. “Star Wars” is the greatest science fiction creation of the 1970’s. If George Lucas trusts him enough to let him write over a dozen books on his creation, then that is good enough for me. Anderson has so much clout that he was even able to get Steve Walsh to sing on his record. Erik Norlander created this “band” along with Anderson and was on a previous ROSWELL SIX album as a producer. If you go to his WIKI page, you will see that he has numerous talents; he is an engineer, song writer, sound designer, musician, and on and on it goes. What he has here is talent overload. I think that the fact Kevin J Anderson is such a highly respected author that you are going to hear something that basically plays it safe. I hope I am not being too harsh on this project, but the music is as safe as a bet that the sun will rise tomorrow.

This album is a concept album about Anderson’s novel entitled, “The Edge of the World”. This is the second album as well as the second book in a future trilogy of which these two are a part of. The music is aptly defined as being progressive rock.This is a story about a war between two lands. Yes, we have heard that before, but never with such aplomb. There is a little metal to be found. There is plenty of electric guitar, but it doesn’t really catch me as heavy metal. The playing is top notch. The sole instrumentalist on the album is Henning Pauly. What I found to be funny is how his biography on his official website mentioned that as a child his parents forced him to take piano lessons which he hated so much that he started to kick the teacher, and after several kicks by young Henning, he was free of the hated piano. So, of course the song “Loyalty” being with a piano playing! Priceless! The irony is amusing. With so many guest musicians handling the vocals, it is hard to find cohesion, but these vocalists are portraying characters from the book, so of course they have to be different vocalists. It wouldn’t work any other way. There is also the appearance of a choir on a couple of songs.

The music is complex and varied. This is a very ambitious project and I hope it does well for all involved. I don’t know exactly how to go about recommending this record. Should you read the books first? Should you do that as well as buying the first album? I do not have an answer for that. I guess it depends on the individual. Some people may be able to watch a sequel to a movie without having to see the first one, and some feel the need to see both. I would imagine it depends on how well you like this new album. Kevin J Anderson has a proven pedigree and his track record speaks for itself. Do some research and see if it appeals to you before spending your money on it. By all means, visit the website of all involved, especial the ROSWELL SIX myspace page.I sort of feel lost without knowing the stories behind the album. I may take a deeper look into it at a later time when I have the chance. Progressive rock is often pretentious. I do not think that is the case here at all. No one is out to overly impress you. This is a very tactful album played by seasoned professionals from top to bottom.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Barricade
  2. Whirlwind
  3. The Crown
  4. Loyalty
  5. My father’s son
  6. When God Smiled on us
  7. Need
  8. Spiral
  9. Battleground
  10. Victory
Lineup:
James LaBrie - Vocals
Michael Sadler - Vocals
John Payne - Vocals
Lana Lane - Vocals
Erik Norlander - Keyboards
Gary Wehrkamp - Guitars
Chris Brown - Guitars
Kurt Barabas - Bass
Chris Quirarte - Drums
David Ragsdale - Violin
Mike Alvarez - Cello
Martin Orford - Flute
Record Label: ProgRock Records
     


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Edited 07 June 2020
 

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