Apparently Norwegian VITNE (which is Norwegian for ”witness”) is the monicker of JOSEPH KIMBRELL, and he’s released albums before this one. It is, though, my first acquaintance with his music. This time the music is written in a video game soundtrack mode – and the style is, according to the bio, symphonic metal meets 80’s hard rock. And yes it is, but it is also a lot more…
One strength is that the sound and production is quite unique. Even AOR fans can find songs or part of songs to like. “Turn back time” is a fine example, with soft melodic hard rock and AOR mixed together and added by quite a symphonic dress. Very good playing too! Especially the guitars include some truly cool solos.
Even the song material has strengths, since there is a good variation and you’ll absolutely not get bored. Sure, it opens up a bit odd with the intro “Whispers of another world”. Instead of video games it makes me think of the lead theme to a British TV series of the late 70’s. “Encephalon” is more melodic metal, with biting guitars but still a melodic production.
The longest track is “Fever dream” which opens in a very melancholic and slightly folkish way, where you can almost feel the salty waves from a windy Norwegian fiord. After a little more than two minutes even this one has a melodic metal base, with some intense moments. This is cool and – like I mentioned earlier – there are quite unique ingredients on this album.
“Ascension” makes me think a little of Swedish artist YOHIO. Good melodic hard rock with variation and strong arrangements. These two guys have some things in common, since they are both multi instrumentalists and good vocalists. “Horizon” is another tune with a folky vibe, only this time within a pop/rock song with a slight indie feel. Even this one is far from what I imagine video games’ soundtracks would sound like. But what do I know? It is a good song. A bit similar in style is “Nocturne” however slower.
“Our way” brings back the uptempo hard rock. This one has attitude and aggressiveness, and brings a tiny punk:ish spice. “Vanquish the night” is another song with two faces; it starts up with a tempo filled hard rock part but also has a soft part where the melancholy returns. The album finishes with “Requiem” which once again has both hard rocking parts as well as melancholic and folky vibes.
If there’s one thing that might be a problem for some listeners, it would be the variation in styles. I happen to like all of it, but it wouldn’t be strange at all of some of you can’t fully appreciate everything. The styles are a bit too diversified.