COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE

Progressive Metal • Germany
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Counter-World Experience is a progressive metal band.
Thanks to Raff for the addition and windhawk, Unitron for the updates

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COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Discography

COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE albums / top albums

COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Always Home album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Always Home
Progressive Metal 2002
COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Fraktal album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Fraktal
Progressive Metal 2004
COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Leaving Lotus album cover 3.93 | 3 ratings
Leaving Lotus
Progressive Metal 2007
COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Metronomicon album cover 3.83 | 5 ratings
Metronomicon
Progressive Metal 2009
COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Music For Kings album cover 3.93 | 3 ratings
Music For Kings
Progressive Metal 2012
COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Pulsar album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pulsar
Progressive Metal 2016

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COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Reviews

COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Music For Kings

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Music for Kings' - Counter-World Experience (8/10)

Although 'concept' albums are ridiculously abundant in the progressive metal genre, it takes a lot of skill and determination to make it work. Harder still is to pass a concept entirely instrumentally, without a set of lyrics to guide the listener along. Sure, it may be argued whether or not Counter-World Experience's "Music for Kings" is a concept album, but if song titles are worth anything, this is a showcase of some of history's most famous (and infamous) monarchs. Like a tender steak, many of these lords' stories are rich and bloody. Though this may be an ample breeding ground for death metal, Counter-World Experience play a highly jazz-infused form of metal. Most importantly, they do it really, really well. Bloodlines aside, there's a great deal to appreciate here.

The concept of jazz metal generally has me thinking of Cynic or Exivious. Counter-World Experience reminds me most of the latter, although these guys take their explorations down a more diverse set of avenues. Jazz and progressive metal are the two central ingredients in this mixing pot, but listeners should not be surprised to hear elements of world music and Medieval folk involved in the sound of "Music for Kings". On paper, this sounds like a lot to take in within the course of an album- and it is, but Counter-World Experience organize it in such a way so that it fits. The music is built around Benjamin Schwenen's guitarwork, particularly around his lead playing. His 'soloing' style finds itself at a tasteful crossroads between rapid fusion observations in the image of Pat Metheny, virtuosic rock leads, and neoclassical shredding. Although it would have been nice to hear the other two members of the band get more room to strut their skills, there can be no complaint concerning the tightness of this band.

Counter-World Experience seem to take a more classical approach on "Music for Kings" than they have on the past. The album's "Coronation" prologue introduces the concept with a choral arrangement that could have been plucked from a Medieval fantasy milieu. Although "Trois Filles du Roi", "Beowulf" and "Karl the Great" all obviously draw upon European figures, Counter-World Experience tip the hat to monarchs as far from home as East Asia, with the dark, King Crimsony "Tiger of Qin". With each culture and monarch CWE jump into, the music reflects it accordingly. "Gilgamesh" is backed up with a nearly tribal rhythm, coming off as much more aggressive and looming than its more reserved European counterparts. The highlight "Beowulf" ends the album on a wonderful note, with some beautifully epic guitar melodies to bid listeners farewell.

Although it may be the way the album ends that tempers my view, "Music for Kings" could have used a little more melody. Although there is a great deal of variety on the album, the largest part goes to Schwenen's fusion solos. While incredibly impressive, some listeners may be put off by how frequently the solos come in. Of course, what jazz metal album would be complete without a good bit of guitar exploration? Counter-World Experience have a consistent reputation for solid progressive metal, and "Music for Kings" does not disappoint. This latest record is easily deserving of a listen.

COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Metronomicon

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Windhawk
Four albums into their career and German metal act Counter-World Experience are as good as ever.

9 creations filled to the brim with quirky riff patterns are served here, with short, pacy highly technical bursts as well as slow, brutal, meandering riff barrages. The bass is often given the role of providing momentum, and adds some jazz touches to the proceedings at times, and the drummer serves up some excellent rhythms as well.

It's the additional details that are most interesting here though. Atmospheric, low key opening sequences. Interludes with mellow, wandering undistorted guitars. Dreamy passages with synth textures and solo guitars. Even a violin and cello theme is inserted in the final track End of Path.

The sparsely but effective use of synths and keyboards to add textures and enhance moods in some of the metal segments is an additional nice feature here, and even the blend of aggressive metal and trance in Youth actually works pretty well - although in that case the trance sequences comes across as far more interesting than the metal ones. Neat contrast though.

Recommended to those who like or are intrigued by instrumental, quirky and shifting progressive metal with technical and extreme embellishments.

COUNTER-WORLD EXPERIENCE Leaving Lotus

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Windhawk
Third time is the charm they say. And although I'm not familiar with the first two releases from this German trio, I was certainly charmed by their third release.

Although not a constant feature, the heavy use of dark and grim sounding guitars is what I will remember best of this album. That particular sound is so strong and special that it has made a lasting impression. Combining that guitar sound with mellow passages, sometimes fragile and sometimes epic guitar synths added, some jazz-tinged atmospheres and excellent percussion, drums and bass work makes for an interesting and fascinating journey in a musical landscape described by the band as jazz metal.

And this CD will probably appeal to most that think instrumental jazz metal sounds like music it's worth checking out.

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