Review: TELLUS REQUIEM – INVICTUS (THE 11TH HOUR) – NIGHTMARE RECORDS – OUT NOW

TELLUS REQUIEM – INVICTUS (THE 11TH HOUR) – NIGHTMARE RECORDS – OUT NOW

Tellus Requiem was formed in 2007  by guitarist Stig Nergård. In 2010 the band released his self-titled debut album digitally. This album opened up some doors for the band, including playing shows with Kalessin, Edenbridge and Pagan’s Mind. The band struggled to keep a full line-up, but when that finally occurred the band signed a deal with Nightmare Records. So the band was now ready to strike back with full force and found the time to record the follow-up “Invictus”.

 

Tellus Requiem is:

Ben Rodgers – vocals
Vidar Lehmann – drums
Stig Nergård – guitar
Ivar Hagen Bøe – bass
Anders Sundbø – keyboards

INVICTUS (THE 11TH HOUR)

The album gets an introduction with the instrumental “Ab Aeterno”. It’s immediately obvious what this disc will bring. The main dish is progressive metal with several appetizers from other genres such as gothic and power metal. “Red Horizon” mixes soaring guitars with lushes keys into a lovely bouquet. Guitarist Stig Nergård throws in some squeaking guitars. Ben Rodgers voice sounds very powerful and is augmented by female backing vocals. Those female vocals together with the neoclassical inspired keys makes that Tellus Requiem stands out of the crop of prog metal bands. The keys reminds me a bit of that wizard Vitalij Kuprij (solo – Ring Of Fire – Artension – TSO). “Eden Burns” brings Dream Theater and Symphony X in mind and here we can hear some Oriental sounding backing vocals. With the long ballad “Reflections Remain” the time has arrived to slow down a bit. After some sound scapes the classical piano gets the company of some Dream Theater riffs. Ben exploits this opportunity to display his vocal gymnastics. After the instrumental break we are being overwhelmed by a kind of chaos consisting of several layers of spoken lyrics.  “Twilight Hour” kicks off with a nice amalgamate of tight Dream Theater riffs and truly astonishing keys. The comparison with the masters on the progressive metal world rise to the surface on several moments in this song. “Sands Of Gold” has a faster pace and contains phenomenal varied drum work from Vidar Lehmann. But it’s still the quick as lightning tight guitar riffs that steals the show. Although Ben’s vocals  are the close runner up. Anders keys make the instrumental break an unforgettable moment. “Tranquility” is a wonderful ballad with acoustic guitar, some soundscapes and a sensitive Ben. The man has a huge vocal range. The sound gets a boost with the classical piano and some electrical guitars. Gradual the sound gets fuller and also the heaviness increases. A pure shredding solo tops it all off. The inspiration from the guys knows no limits because during “Redemption” they include some flamenco guitars that seamless convert into pounding metal riff. Some Hammond organ can be heard in the background and the bass from Ivar also roars! Even some classical opera  is included.

The title track “Invictus” summarizes why this band sticks his head above the progmetal pool. Strong and powerful arrangements with an incredible instrumentation and killer vocals. Also the bass screams for attention here. And that made me think of one of my favorite AOR bands from the past: Shotgun Symphony. That band blended some progressive influences into their melodic rock. These Norsemen sure did surprised me with their strong release. “Dies Irae” closes this album with some peace and quiet. This track resembles more to a film score with a strong classical feel.

Conclusion:
This Norwegian act has brightened up my day with their special blend of progressive metal. The vocals from Ben and the guitar work from Stig are pure ear candy. On stage this band must be a revelation. So, I hope to catch these guys live in the near future. When you’re a prog metal fan you simply have to listen to this record. It will grant you a full hour of pleasure. If you ask me, this is a must buy!

Score: 4.25 out of 5

 Tracklist:

  1. Ab Aeterno
  2. Red Horizon
  3. Eden Burns
  4. Reflections Remain
  5. Twilight Hour
  6. Sands OF Gold
  7. Tranquility
  8. Redemption (Frontiers 2)
  9. Invictus
  10. Dies Irae

Links:

www.tellusrequiem.com
www.nightmarerecords.com

Text Rik Bauters


 

Text Rik Bauters

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