GB Arts


Return To Forever

GB Arts - Return To Forever ©1998 B. Mind Records
1. City Of Light
2. Prophecy
3. Return To Forever
4. The Storm
5. Falling Rain
6. Behind The Mirror
7. Strange World
8. Through The Centuries
9. Time To Go
10. Paradise Of The Innocent

For all intents and purposes, this disc should be considered the debut disc from GB Arts. Though they have a disc predating this one, it is out of print and almost impossible to find.

That said, this disc is an amazing "first" outing. The music is surprisingly mature. I think part of that is due to the contributions of Victor Smolski from Rage and Mario Lemole from Mind Odyssey. The production, at the hands of Smolski, is crisp and impeccable.

GB Arts play in the style of a power prog band like Ivory Tower or Vanden Plas. The keyboard pyrotechnics of Andreas Beckman and guitar athleticism of Andre Rasfield are incredible. The marriage of their sound produces a thunderous union that attacks the listener with it intensity and embraces the listener with its subtle charm. The music is complex and richly layered. I don't know when I have heard a debut that has impressed me as much as this one. The songs are all longer than average with only two of the tracks clocking in at under five minutes. The lengthiest of these is the bonus track, "Parade of the Innocence", which is a wonderful eleven and a half minutes long.

The vocals are not the operatic, soaring styling you would expect to accompany the typical progressive metal band. Achim Reichert's voice is aggressive and stays in the lower ranges for the most part. The combination of his grittier singing mixed with the atmospherically dense music is a good one.

The progressive and symphonic elements of the music are handled expertly. The keys dominate the sound when it is appropriate. The guitars weave from classical to neo-classical to in-your-face-down-your-throat-rip-your-lungs-out power very deftly. The guitar playing positively smokes. Andre Rasfield stands out and plays with a captivating style that is impossible to ignore. This CD represents the perfect blend of Rage and Fate's Warning or Dream Theater. The sound is innovative (to my ear) and tremendously enjoyable.

Fans of Rage will appreciate this disc as will fans of progressive metal. Fans of power prog will devour it start to finish. If you can find the disc, it is well worth the effort. This one is a winner!

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 12/2000

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The Lake

GB Arts - The Lake ©2000 B. Mind Records
1. A Voice
2. The Surface
3. Silver Rain
4. Break Free
5. My New World
6. The Chosen One
7. Can't Remember
8. Shadows Of Faces
9. Old Warriors
10. The Darkness Is Over

Hey Rage fans! I have to get your attention first by mentioning that Victor Smolski, Mike Terrana and Peavy Wagner figure heavily in the credits on this disc. They appear on four of the ten tracks. That fact alone should pique your curiosity regarding this obscure power metal band. Unfortunately, the disc is very hard to locate. I found my copy through Gemm.com and the link they provided to musicpeople.de. In my estimation, it was worth waiting for an overseas shipment to the USA for a disc of this caliber.

This is GB Arts third disc, though only two are listed on their website. It is also their second colloboration with Victor Smolski from Rage. With Smolski and Wagner contributing so much to the music, it is no surprise that there is a Rage-ish sound in many places. This disc is a concept album which is unusual in a band that has so little exposure. What is even more unusual is how well they pull it off. This disc is a stunning performance executed with razor precision.

The songs on this disc are denser than those on Return To Forever. The sound is deep and very involved. The lyrical content is interwoven as one would expect on a concept album. The themes are tied together very nicely. The music is layered and there is a lot going on. The atmosphere abounds in these songs. There is a very tight focus throughout the disc. The music propels the images from the lake forward, painting them in your mind to give you the whole picture of what the music is conveying. The narrated parts on the disc will either enhance the experience for you or detract from it. I leave that to your individual tastes. Also there is a change in vocalists. The gritty sound is retained, but the register is bumped up a notch or two into the mid to higher ranges.

The music is disciplined and mature. Hopefully this disc will see a bit more exposure to this band and they will gain some notice from the progressive metal community. They are too good to be overlooked for long.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 12/2000

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