Kenziner

Picture of Kenziner

Timescape

Kenziner - Timescape ©1998 Leviathan Records
1. Future Signs
2. Into The Light
3. Images Of The Past
4. Dreamer
5. Through The End
6. Timescape
7. Walking In The Rain
8. Seasons
9. In The Silence
10. Land Of Shadows
11. Inspiration At A Moment

Kenziner is a progressive power metal band centered around one man, Jarno Keskinen, a young Finnish guitar and keyboard wizard. Working with another guitarist of note, David Chastain, he has produced an impressive debut disc. On this disc, Jarno plays all the guitars, keys and the bass. His two "guest" musicians provide the drumming and the vocals.

The band came into existence when Chastain got hold of a demo tape from Keskinen. He was very impressed with the young man's compositional technique, saying there are a lot of great guitarists in the world, but not many with compositional skills on this level. I admit, the solos are dizzying in their scope.

What most impresses me about this disc is that those dizzying solos manage to not be the focal point of the music. Take the solos out and the songs still can stand on their own. This is not a Malmsteen "I can do this with my guitar, can you?" type of disc. Jarno Keskinen may be the anchor man of the band, but the others have actual important contributions to make. They are not just faceless extras there to shine spotlights on the "star." Keskinen thrills with numerous Chris Impellitterri style speed solos that blend in with the rest of the music and vocals to give the listener a treat with each track. There are influences of Stratovarius evident on the disc, but not to the point of being a clone. Somehow Kenziner manages to tread the narrow line between the influences and come up with a sound that is innovative.

This is a very good debut and it is followed by a tremendous second disc. I do not think the band is still together as I've seen and heard nothing from them in a long time. If they're still out there working on a disc, I am very eager to hear it.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 02/2001

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The Prophecies

Kenziner - The Prophecies ©1999 Metal Blade
1. Live Forever
2. The Razor’s Edge
3. Carry On Tomorrow
4. Race With Time
5. Trail Of Tears
6. Eternity
7. Dimensions
8. Like A Paradise
9. Through The Fire
10. The Prophecies

Jarno Keskinen is back with new musicians and a much more aggressive sound on this second disc. Joining him on this disc are a 19 year old keyboardist also from Finland and drummer Brian Harris who has played with David Chastian in the past. The keyboar player, Mikko Harkin, has been playing piano since he was five years old and has a truly amazing level of skill and talent.

Everything is forcibly shoved forward on this album. The sound absolutely blows away what was on the debut disc. The play is aggressive and the singing is aggressive. Everything about this disc is in your face. The singing is what caught me most. Stephen Fredrick provided intense vocals on the first disc, and here he really steps up and delivers. Imagine Dan Swanö crossed with Russell Allen from Symphony X and you’ll have a good idea of what Fredrick’s singing is like on this disc. I love a vocalist who has such energy.

The songs are tighter, faster, louder and far more intense than those on Timescape. Like I said, everything is turned way up. The sound is complex and very busy. The solos scream and the backing music thunders. The sound is heavy, neo-classical power metal played at the speed of Labyrinth on their Return to Heaven Denied. The disc provides a wonderful, galloping ride. Any fan of epic, melodic metal is going to enjoy this disc. If you consider Kenziner, I heartily recommend this disc above the debut.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 02/2001

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