If you think the only music that comes out of Texas may be blues, country, or death metal, then I've got some news for you. The Lone Star State is home to a very intriguing and impressive progressive rock band by the name of Twenty3Fifty9, an allusion to 'one minute to midnight.' Formed in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2005, T3F9 has been developing and playing their first act of Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, a grand tale and certainly one of my favorites. When not playing The Count, Act I The Soul of a Prisoner during their shows, they fill the set with covers of Dream Theater, Kansas, and Iron Maiden. The influences are obvious within The Count bringing an epic sound to an epic tale of love, loss and political intrigue.
T3F9 are classic progressive rockers telling a profound tale using sweeping arrangements. Call this a very large homage to 70's prog because T3F9 do not venture far from their historic roots. The songs rely on creative compositions with superb musicianship from clean soaring guitar, proactive bass lines, and a lush use of keyboards throughout. Indeed, the musical craftsmanship, from the lyrical base to the song composition, of The Count is preeminent and profound: a huge amount of thought and creativity went into this album. Remarkable cuts include the deeply emotional Betrayed, the intriguing and diverse Conspirators, and the moving Awaiting Justice. If there are any drawbacks to The Count, it would be in the vocal performance. Jeff Beardsley, though quite passionate, can be quite trying as he sounds somewhere between a nasal groan and whine. To my ears, I'm not really sure if he can sing.
Twenty3Fifty9 are already working on the next part of their The Count of Monte Cristo musical tale. If this work is any indication, it will be equally as profound and entertaining. Until then, you'll just have to settle for The Count Act 1, and I strongly encourage you to get your copy.
With The Count, Act I, Texas classic progressive rockers Twenty3Fifty9 have created a profound and entertaining musical tale fitting for the epic story of The Count of Monte Cristo.
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