It’s been 6 long years since the last album from Forever Twelve was released. I’m sure the fans have been wondering whether or not the band was still together. I know I was until keyboardist Steve Barberic sent me a copy in the mail. So now in 2010, they released their 3rd album appropriately called Taking Forever. The line-up hasn’t changed and remains Cat Ellen (vocals, flute), Kenny Hundt (Bass), Steve Barberic (Keyboards), Fernando Martinez (Drums), and Tom Graham (Guitars).
Starting off the album is “To The Hill” (8:41) and a perfect opening track if there was ever one. There’s a mixture of classic and modern progressive rock. The band is in top form here and the vocals are amazing. The vocals start around the 3 minute mark. I feel Cat has topped herself with her voice. To me, she sounds better in 2010 than she did in the past.
The tempo continues on “Vanishing Us” (5:01) until the vocals start. Then vocals are accompanied by some beautiful piano playing. The rest of the band kicks in a few minutes later. The music has a classic late 70’s, early 80’s feel to it. This is one of my favorites of the album.
Then we have the title track, “Taking Forever” (7:07) , which has a nice jazzy intro. The vocals comes in around the 2 minute mark. I hear a slight Genesis/ Yes influence here but with female vocals.
Next up is “Nada Devi” (5:11), which starts out with acoustic guitar and piano accompanied by vocals. A very dreamy melancholy song. There are some tasty electric guitar solo parts. This is another of my favorites.
The first instrumental of the album is “Vita Decessus” (6:26). It has an up beat vibe that reminds me of late 70’s Genesis. There’s also a nod to the early 80’s symphonic and neo-prog bands that had instrumental songs. It’s very cinematic at times. Towards the end it has a Yes vibe.
The intro of “Wake Up” (3:58) has a bass line that would attract fans of Chris Squire. There’s a duet of male and female vocals. The male vocals could be either Tom Graham (guitars) and/or Kenny Hundt (bass), which adds some contrast to the song. The outro segues right into “With You” (6:42). This is the most modern sounding of the songs and my favorite. It’s a happy sounding song with beautiful vocals and instrumentation. Just simply a beautiful prog song.
On “Existence” (7:26), the music remind me of early 80’s neo-prog and a modern vibe woven in. The vocals again are a female/male duet in some parts. There’s some very nice instrumentation on this song and goes through many changes within the duration while never stretching out too thin.
Ending off the album is the second instrumental piece, “Fine Glass” (7:44). It has a dreamy quality by way of the keyboards and is balanced by tasty, never out staying it’s welcome, guitar leads. There are some nods to Genesis and Yes within the song. The instrumentation is very original and a perfect way to end off a great album.
The band made available some bonus tracks that can be downloaded from the band’s website. These songs that for some reason didn’t fit the flow of the album. Rather than having two editions, a standard and limited/special etc., the band decided to make these bonus tracks available online.
Starting off the bonus tracks is very progressive and jazzy song called “Battery” (6:23), which in my opinion should have been included in the album 'Taking Forver'. “Here We Go” (4:39) in a perfect world, it has “single” written all over it.
Closing out the bonus tracks is “Sex Dream” (6:06), and by far the darkest sounding of the band‘s overall catalog. There’s a modern vibe going here. In fact it reminds me of another female fronted band called Leger De Main.
Of all the female fronted bands of the day, Forever Twelve is one of the more original and unique sounding. They retain a raw feel which is perfect because there are so many slick productions out there. So if you like your prog done in a classic yet modern form, than look no further that Forever Twelve and their ’Taking Forever’ release. Highly recommended!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 26th, 2010