Terra Incognita (Magna Carta)
by Martin Popoff
Beginning as Nemesis ten years back, this Hungarian progressive metal band hits hard, riffy and rhythmically, with clear, technically brilliant vocals from one Zoltan Kiss, who pulls it off without sounding too, too non-Anglo (if anything, I’m hearing Italian or Brazilian in here). It’s kind of a cool story here: This album is actually five years old, having originally come out in Hungarian. The guys had Peter Linka, “sixth member of the band” and a Hungarian-American, translate the album’s plush storyline into English, and that’s what we have here, the new vocals put on top of the music from the summer of ’02. It works just fine, and what’s most impressive is that the music – although nothing crazy unique – doesn’t sound old, but merely like the work of many bands derived from Dream Theater. Like I say, it’s extremely note-dense and guitar-charged, but the keyboard sounds are varied and fresh, and tracks like “The Land of Light” demonstrate the band’s strong melodic sense.