“Section A” is formed of many ex-band members, for example from “Lion’s Share” and “Yngwie Malmsteen”, which means that its line-up is quite promising from the beginning, but it’s also featuring a couple of good guests. When I started to play their second album called “Parallel Lives” (first album was “The Seventh Sign”), I knew very shortly that I had heard those vocals somewhere before, but just couldn’t find where. It was not so much of an impression since I own the all-stars album “Book of Reflections”, on which Andy Engberg also sings.
“Parallel Lives”, short album of only 8 songs but of a length of almost an hour, took no less than about 1 year ½ from the story writing till its release and we can understand very well why it took so long ! This marvellous concept album was made in the highest quality! The most stunning is certainly the story itself !
Awesome guitarist Torben Enevoldsen quotes: “[…] Lyrically, this new album is a concept piece based around the story of William, a guy, who by unknown forces gets the gift to travel between parallel universes – yet he is unable to control this travelling. […]”
It’s a genuine, brilliant story and travel written through awesome lyrics and music. The kind of topic that I LOVE, mixing fantasy and reality.
An other strong point all along this album are the guitars !!! Torben is very impressing and it’s not so much difficult to see why he’s often said to be a “virtuoso”. He’s probably one of the best guitarists I have heard of !! The solos are astounding in every song ! Just as every other note played. Really, it’s a delight for the ears. For sure, I’ll remember his name ! ;-) (Plus, he plays keys and these are so great !! He’s also the one who wrote all the music…)
My favourite songs are “Awakening” (for the guitars, which start a bit in a “latine way”), “The Gift” (for the vocals and for the little bluesy moods, at the beginning), “Changing the Past” (again for the guitars) and “Beginning of the End” (both for guitars and vocals).
While “Dark Alliance” shows a bit of gothic in the backing vocals.
So I think “Parallel Lives” is generally perfectly well balanced. Never too sweet, never too heavy, never too catchy. And the vocals reflect well the emotions and lyrics. No one else would have done better ! Everything fits good with each other: the mood, melodies, words, meaning, everything.
I give this album 10/10 ! Just the conceptual story itself deserves it very well !! Then, the music and the vocals as well ! I think it’s perfect for progressive lovers and also for those who like “that little something” that is absent in other albums. “Parallel Lives” has his own unique style. YET, if someone still asked me to what sort of band it reminds me, I would answer, though it might sound a bit crazy, (especially for the vocals) a little mix of “Pagan’s Mind”, “Nocturnal Rites” (esp. in “Hoping for a Miracle”) and “Mind’s Eye” !!!
Reviewed by Vikie Martel on July 4th, 2006