Last year brought the first Terra Incognita project, the setting of Kevin Anderson's epic fantasy trilogy to music, produced by ProgRock Records and directed by Eric Norlander with a host of talented international prog musicians. The concept combining story with music for a twin crossover release of book and CD was as novel as the music was brilliant. You can read more, in greater detail, in last year's review. Suffice to say, it was quite the accomplishment and entertainment.
Again, for part two of the story, Anderson and ProgRock combine efforts for the release of A Line in the Sand. At the musical helm is Henning Pauly (Frameshift, Chain, Shadows Mignon). Vocals are by rock legends Steve Walsh (Kansas), Michael Sadler (ex-Saga), Sass Jordan (Album Rock's Female Vocalist of the Year), Alex Froese (Frameshift) and Nick Storr(The Third Ending), with guest appearances by Charlie Dominici, Juan Roos and Arjen A. Lucassen. As with the first CD, Anderson co-wrote all of the lyrics with his wife, Rebecca Moesta, and two of the songs, The Crown and Need, are co-written by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian. The story of the second novel, The Map of All Things focuses on the devastating generations-long war between continents.
I could wax eloquent about the ambitious nature of the project, the sweeping epic arrangements, or the outstanding performances of the musicians, but I would be merely repeating many of my original comments for the first work, Beyond the Horizon. Nevertheless, I will add some additional comments. While the progressive rock is profound, yet fundamental, the tone quite often is heavier and more forceful. It seems that Pauly, understanding the context of continental conflict, offers a greater intensity with heavier and charging riffs from the guitars. Even the addition of Walsh and Sadler add an urgency to the music, with a deeper more raw effect. But this tone never subjugates the complexity, beauty, and melody of the arrangements. Roswell Six's A Line in the Sand is quite impressive and highly entertaining progressive rock, and a worthy follow-up to the first part of the Terra Incognita story. Strongly recommended.
Roswell Six's A Line in the Sand is quite impressive and highly entertaining progressive rock, and a worthy follow-up to the first part of the Terra Incognita story. Strongly recommended.
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