Band: Unwritten Pages
Band Website: www.unwrittenpages.com
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2010
Hang on to your hats! Noah, a double disc concept CD by Dutch based Unwritten Pages is about to take off. Fans of hard edged, heavy symphonic progressive rock need to take note. The music here plays like a big stage musical featuring all the sonic hall marks of that kind of production. Unwritten Pages is the brainchild of composer/producer Frederic Epe and features a stellar cast including; Damian Wilson (Threshold, Ayreon, Les Misérables), Karl Groom (Threshold, Shadowland), Davy Mickers (Stream of Passion, Ayreon) and Alejandro Millán (Hello Madness, Stream of Passion) and others. As to be expected this is a work of many parts, many vocals male and female and many instruments all woven together to tell this futuristic tale.
It would be a mistake to put this project in the Prog Metal category although there are many moments where the guitars and double kick drum dominate the proceedings. Still equal time is given to softer, at times even ambient moments where the emotional quotient of the story is developed not only lyrically but musically. These compositions feature lyrics that propel the sci-fi story through its stages. On that score they feature multiple vocalists each taking a part of that story. Sometimes the vocals are delivered over piano and keyboard washes, other times it’s a full on assault, and that can happen within the same song. Given that many of these pieces are well over the six-minute length it’s easy to hear many musical changeups. Each features a musical theme that ties to the story and one of my favorites is “Royalty & Conspiracies” [6:31] that starts as you might expect with a sort of royal procession all richly orchestrated with keyboards and crunchy guitar chords. The song is a belter and yet opens up from time to time with some piercing synthesizer accents. There is always something more for the ear as each second passes. The other thing that hooked me is the use of heavy bottom end synth sounds or equally deep sonorous cello sounds that crop up from time to time. It gives the disc a real solid foundation and creates an overall oppressive tone for the story line and nicely plays off the higher pitched string sounds.
As I said at the outset don’t pigeon hole Noah into the prog-metal category that’s only one element of the varied musical pallet created by Unwritten Pages. If you enjoy the music of Ayreon and Roswell Six then rush for you local CD supplier and pick up a copy of Noah Pt. 1! Unwritten Pages have a great sound and I can’t wait for part 2. Excellent!