'Then Comes Affliction To Awaken The Dreamer' - Twisted Into Form (9/10)
Founded upon the premise of an uncompromising fusion of jazz and technical metal, Twisted Into Form finds themselves with quite a few like-minded acts. There is something about these two styles of music that seem to attract one another, which has led to quite a few epiphanous records. With the promise that they would set no boundaries to their music making, this Norwegian band has achieved one of those albums which balances its elements beautifully, making for one of the best- and most sadly underrated- albums that technical metal has ever seen.
Incorporating clean vocals into such a technical brand of music can be a risky venture, and often, a band who attempts this may end up with lifeless melodies, and a vocalist who more than likely feels left out of the action. A major element of Twisted Into Form's music are the clean vocals of Leif Knashaug, and the fact that they incorporate singing so effectively into technical metal is possibly their greatest merit. Instrumentally, the music is a rather dark take on jazz metal fusion, with thoughtful riffs, complex drumming, and bass grooves. With an often beautiful vocal performance on top, the music gets those two elements that it would have lacked otherwise; melody and emotional tension.
That's not to say that Twisted Into Form would not be an interesting band to listen to without vocals, however. These compositions are filled with memorable hooks and changes that may take a couple of listens to grow on a listener, but ultimately reward a listener for their patience. Not to mention that Twisted Into Form manages to play this music with emotion. While Knashaug's vocals make up the framework for the band's emotional intensity, Gornitzka, Aadlund, and Husvik go beyond the call of being merely 'cerebral' with their instruments, and pour devotion into what they do. With particular regards to Gornitzka's Cynic-styled guitar playing, there are plenty of beautiful details in this deceptively cold work that would only reveal themselves to me when I paid close attention, and I think that's what I look for most in this kind of music.