Band: Forever Twelve
CD Title: Home
Label: Melodic Revolution Records (2017)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
I first became aware of the Los Angeles based Forever Twelve with their 2004 release Spark of Light and remember really liking it a lot. I recall it being a very special release in that stack of CDs. Theyíve gone through a few personnel changes since their 2010 followup release, which brings us to this fourth studio recording entitled Home. Todayís Forever Twelve features original members, Steve Barbaric, Tom Graham and Tony Martinez who are now joined by Mars Hollow vocalist John Baker. All of this is good news, as musically the band has continued to grow, develop and mature in both composition approach and performance ability. These seven, mostly mid-length compositions are stellar examples of what like to call ďAmeri-Prog.Ē Genre-wise this is top-notch Symphonic Progressive Rock but there is also a decidedly rocky vibe that infuses the bandís musical gymnastics. This is music that sits very comfortably next to bands like Kansas and Spockís Beard. In many respects itís all on display on the albumís opening epic length track ďThe Seven SeasĒ [16:06] where every prog element (and more) is employed: long introductions before the vocals and dramatic and dynamic shifts in time, tempo and tone. Layers of symphonic styled keyboards provide smooth transitions between an endless array of different musical segments, all tied together with recurring anthemic melodic themes. It is a wonder to behold and thatís only the opening track. Throughout the disc weíre treated to gloriously majestic ascending lines, huge swells or orchestration complete with Mellotron. Interludes and transitions are oftentimes classic call-and-response that then lead into some well executed keyboard and guitar interplay. Thereís lotsí of musical performance here as well, because while these are long and involved songs, their length, seven to eight minutes allows for plenty of instrumental virtuosity and in fact there are times where the music gets really quite intricate and busy. Itís all very cool and I love it. Home is the kind of Symphonic prog that satisfies my every need. Musically Home gets tops marks from me and itís an easy recommendation to prog fans everywhere. To my ears this is the best Forever Twelve yet.