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Roswell Six


TERRA INCOGNITA: Beyond the Horizon

Year: 2009
Format: CD
Label: ProgRock
Genre: [Progressive Rock/Symphonic Rock/Art Rock]
Overall Rating: 8.5
Music: 8.0
Production: 8.5

The famed author Kevin J. Anderson with the help of Shawn Gordon, the president of ProgRock Records, brought about an interesting new release - book/CD crossover project Roswell Six. It's not so surprising once you think about it - a lot of music has been inspired by science fiction and fantasy and vice versa a lot of stories have been inspired by music. With his wife Rebecca Moesta, Anderson adapted the storyline for this first TERRA INCOGNITA album from his new novel "The Edge of the World". I have to admit I haven't read the novel yet, but hearing this album awoke my interest (I'll try not to give away anything from the story on my review though).

Music on Roswell Six is composed by the acclaimed keyboardist/composer Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane), who also handled the production duties on this ambitious project. This record features some of the finest talent in the progressive rock scene with performances by Michael Sadler, James LaBrie, Martin Orford, Gary Wehrkamp, Lana Lane, John Payne and David Ragsdale among others. While this is a good thing in the sense that the performances are top-notch, the super star setting also hinders this project since it raises one's expectations to very high level. Sadly the songs are of varying quality - at times they complement the storyline perfectly and are nicely adventurous, but there are also moments when the soundscape is somewhat monotonous and unsurprising (especially to those who have listened to Norlander's past works a lot). Perhaps this was intentionally chosen in order to put the main focus on vocals and the stories being told instead of flamboyant music that could have been more inventive, intense and diverse.

After several listens sadly the most memorable moment of this album is Here Be Monsters' hookline, which is reminiscent to that of Kashmir (by Led Zeppelin) - probably because it was revisited also in the end (track 13, the Edge of the World). On a sidenote, the outro track actually revisits most of the album's melodies. Production-wise this album is fairly good, although at times when there's a lot of instrumentation going on the dynamics suffer and the mix loses detail. Despite these weaknesses, Roswell Six is worth checking out - it's fairly unique project among the traditional concept albums and definitely should please the fans of the star line-up as well as those interested in new musical experience.

Visit Artist's MySpace Website

- MAGE (June, 11th 2009)


LaBrie, James: Vocals
Sadler, Michael: Vocals
Lane, Lana: Vocals
Payne, John: Vocals
Norlander, Erik: Keyboards
Barabas, Kurt: Bass
Quirarte, Chris: Drums
Wehrkamp, Gary: Electric Guitars
Brown, Chris: Acoustic and Additional Electric Guitars
Ragsdale, David: Violin
Alvarez, Mike: Cello
Orford, Martin: Flute

Anderson, Kevin J.: Lyrics
Moesta, Rebecca: Lyrics
Producer: Norlander, Erik
Mixing by: Norlander, Erik
Mastering by: Brown, Chris
Roswell Six - TERRA INCOGNITA: Beyond the Horizon  CD  Cover Image
01. Ishalem
02. The Call of the Sea
03. I Am the Point
04. Letters in a Bottle
05. Halfway
06. Anchored
07. Here Be Monsters
08. The Sinking of the Luminara
09. The Winds of War
10. Swept Away
11. Beyond the Horizon
12. Merciful Tides
13. The Edge of the World

Length: 72:39
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