KORSAIR is a Progressive Metal project consisting of music writer and musician Anders Thonander, and […]
Korsair - Mechopolis album cover

KORSAIR is a Progressive Metal project consisting of music writer and musician Anders Thonander, and guest musicians from all over the world, influenced by popular Metal -oper projects such as ARYEON and AINA. Based out of Sweden, their debut album here entitled "Mechopolis" contains sixteen tracks. "System Check" opens the album in melodic grandeur. A dominating keyboard melody is supported wonderfully with the guitar, bass and drums. The track picks up steam as it progresses, with the harmonies shooting up into clear blue skies. There is an air of the supernatural here, or the feeling of being in an alternate universe. Either way, the mark made by this opener is impressive. "Prologue" details the storyline. It is a story of two twins separated at birth, destined to be together again. The story opens in "Lost Identity" with soft, beautiful acoustic guitars and a trade-off of male and female vocals. The twins lament at their hollowness from being apart, not quite able to understand why. The punch of the instrumentation echoes this sentiment, in dark and powerful strokes. He is able to detail a similar approach in "Four in the Morning," where the extended instrumental passages and keyboard leads give the Metal side of the music its energy. In this song we are dealing with the murder of her father at her own hands.

"Fugitives" hears Miriam following the direction of "Lady Bionic", the comforting voice inside her head. As she runs, the keyboards lead a melody that is hastened and confident. Twisting and turning in over nine minutes, the chord progressions stay right on track as they dart in and around the main melody. "Prototype X" has a cold, hard sterile sound amidst the simple but effective melody. The vocals and background music deal with a darker, more pressing sound, as the inevitable issue of technology taking over the world is the subject. The music is nothing short of a perfect match for the message. In "The Turn", Prototype X deals with the sudden realization that he has warmth inside his robotic shell and his desire to seek the company of humans, and to be human himself. In "The Moon Folk," the message is of yearning to be free while dealing with the unforgiving landscape of their childhood home, the Moon. Instrumentation is kept to a minimum, accenting just enough here and there. The guitar solo sounds like it is coming at you from a distant planet, and the effects are just wonderful.

"Interlude" sees the fugitives heading toward the temple, as Miriam was directed. "Temple of the Flesh" is set up as a magnanimous piece with the opening keyboard melody. Your sense of being in a different time and/or world is heightened, where Prototype X and the two humans struggle with the conditions of their existence, and the reminder that they are being followed and must leave. "Dark Green Skies" has a really sublime melody line. As their capture nears, they witness the touching down of a space ship. The use of minor chords in the verses contrast beautifully with the major chords in the chorus, and the vocals really shine through on this track. "Veins and Wires" sees the group leaving the Moon and speeding towards Earth, where he vows to return in order to save their friend who stayed behind to cover their leave. Once again the keyboards breathe the warm air life into this track with a simple but pleasing melody. The story of "Lady Bionic" is the longest song on the album clocking in at over 16 minutes. Ominous and brooding, it details her experience left behind, the epic battle that ensues, and her eventual waking up. The main riff moves along regally, and there are some more straightforward Metal elements here; perhaps more so than other tracks.

"Shelter from the Rain" is a more transitional song in terms of the lyrics, a soft and pensive track that bears symbolism to the story. Piano and a strong female lead carry this weightless feeling of yearning. "Dusk" is the culminating track, as they join together with the opposition into one common vision and goal. Once again the choice of instrumentation really meshes well with the message in the lyrics. Stylistically this is Epic Progressive Metal, and a project that clearly took aim high into the heavens. Though some of the vocals were a bit pitchy here and there, the sheer amount of melodies and harmonies that went into the composition of project as a whole is massive. There is in excess of two hours of music here. With something this lofty, the results can often be lackluster, pretentious or meandering. That is not the case here with "Mechopolis." Choosing sweet melodies to tell his grand tale, Anders vision is straight and clear, and the results are both satisfying and memorable. If there is an album where more of an artist's heart and soul have been given more to, I haven't heard it this.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Mechopolis" Track-listing:

1. System Check
2. Prologue
3. Lost Identity
4. Four in the Morning
5. Fugitives
6. Prototype X
7. The Turn
8. The Moon Folk
9. Interlude
10. Temple of the Flesh
11. Dark Green Skies
12. Veins and Wires
13. Lady Bionic
14. Shelter from the Rain
15. Dusk
16. Epilogue

Korsair Lineup:

Paul Glandorf - Guest Vocals
Arturo Duque Velez - Guest Vocals
Laura Ten Hoedt - Guest Vocals
Kim Glandorf - Guest Vocals
Federico Guillen Scholten - Guest Vocals
Sebas Horning - Guest Guitars
Lars Atter - Guest Guitars
Rene Laursen - Guest Guitars
Brian Christensen - Guest Guitars

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