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Whispers in Crimson – Suicide in B Minor (2014)
Artist: Whispers in Crimson
Title Of Album: Suicide in B Minor
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Sixtysix Records
Genre: Progressive Metal
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 54:37 Min
Total Size: 136 Mb
1. Suicide in B Minor 08:38
2. Nightmare Within a Dream 10:34
3. Project Sinister 07:32
4. Do You Believe? 06:02
5. Coming Home 06:09
6. Us for Fools (To Iran) 08:52
7. Cask of Amontillado 07:26
Amirali Nourbakhsh all guitars & vocals on "Coming Home"
Hadi Kiani Keyboards except on 1
Herbie Langhans Vocals
Jalal Gholami Bass on 1,2,4,6
Arash Moghaddam Drums on 2,3,5,7
Dara Darai Bass on 5,7
Abolkhanjeh Fatmeshekanjeh Drums on 1,4,6
Mohsen Yousefi Keyboards on 1
Kasra Saboktakin Bass on 3
The tracks on Whispers in Crimson’s first album, Suicide in B Minor, reflect the political mindset of the band’s founder, Amirali Nourbakhsh.
He was 13 when the Islamic Revolution took place in Iran overthrowing the Shah. As a son of an American-Iranian trained naval officer under the Shah’s regime, he witnessed how the 1979 revolution changed his life overnight.
In 1983 and at the age of 17, he left Iran as a consequence of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) which he did not endorse.
His life had been already impacted by a revolution which was supported by the majority of Iranians, but was in no way in line with his beliefs, upbringing or ethics. He was even more impacted by a war which invoked mixed feelings in him. As an Iranian he felt his country had to be defended against the aggressor Saddam, but as a critique of the revolution, he didn’t want to fight for something he didn’t believe in.
On the one hand, he wanted to stay with his family during those difficult times, and on the other, his father wanted him to leave for a better life and education. Emotions of guilt, agony and anger left such impact on him that to this date influence his song writing and lyrics.
As a newcomer to the Western world, he had nothing on his mind, but to understand his own feelings towards a country that was driven by a revolution and torn by a war.
Confused by unpredictable events that impacted his life, he studied English literature just to find that he was more interested in the politics of his own country. This led him to study international relations, economics and diplomacy which left him with two Master’s degrees in disciplines totally unrelated to his strongest passion, heavy metal music.
In 1989, he came back to Iran for the first time after six years when the war was over. The song “Coming Home” depicts this period of his life.
In 1994, he returned to Iran with the determination to live there forever. Today, he is the owner and CEO of a management consulting firm, while he has been spending enormous amounts of time practicing guitar and writing songs parallel to his full time job. In the past 18 years, Amirali has been working on his album while also working as a management consultant. Living such a life has enabled him to produce this album over ten years often resulting in the neglect of his family and friends.
In his own words, Whispers in Crimson is the ultimate fulfillment of his dreams. “The formation of Whispers in Crimson and the production of this album have been my ultimate dream. Although it is now a dream come true to me, it puts me automatically in jeopardy for publicizing my utmost hatred for a dangerous man whose actions left me no choice but to leave my country again. That man is Ahmadinejad.”
Whispers in Crimson
Hailing from Tehran, Whispers in Crimson has confirmed the release of their full length debut for June 2014. The album was predominantly recorded in the suburbs of Tehran at the band’s studio. Hadi Kiani, the studio owner and the band’s keyboard player—who is also a professional sound engineer—was in charge of the recordings, the mix and the mastering.
“Putting this album together seemed at times impossible to me with all the restrictions we have in Iran. The music is frowned upon and considered somehow illegal. On top of that, I have my own family and full-time job. But not once in my life did I doubt that metal was what I wanted, and with Hadi’s support I did the impossible.” says Amirali Nourbakhsh, the guitarist, songwriter and leader of the band.
The variety of the songs reflect the hardship Amirali has gone through. Although not a concept album in the classical sense, 6 of the 7 songs are about political events in the Middle East. The interesting title track “Suicide in B Minor” is about how a Palestinian shepherd turns into a suicide bomber after finding his family slaughtered. The over 8-minute progressive epic is melodic, aggressive, with lots of time signatures and even metronome changes—which is by the way present throughout the album.
The most difficult thing about this album is how to describe its inspirations. It has a lot of Harmonic Minor scales, but it doesn’t sound Middle Eastern. At times it reminds one of Kamelot, at time maybe Symphony X, but there is no one track on the album that could be compared to either band’s tracks.
The second song is about Saddam Hossein’s last ten minutes. The climax is the slow but aggressive solo in the middle of the track which very clearly depicts Saddam’s torture at the poles. “Bow to me and treasure me, at least until I fall.” The over 10-minute track is the most progressive on the album. It starts with an unusual 15/8 rhythm demonstrating many unexpected accents and time signatures.
From a musicianship-performance perspective, the album is full of nice technical pieces with catchy songwriting and a very realistic production. Although progressive, all songs appeal to a vast rock audience. The singer immediately strikes the ear. The German Herbie Langhans—of Sinbreed and Seventh Avenue—adds additional power and aggression to the songs. “Sascha Paeth introduced Herbie to me. I didn’t know of Herbie, so I started streaming his work on the internet. The first song was a ballad and I was like ‘No, no, this guy sounds like Brian Adams.. too mellow for me.’ Then I listened to Dust to Dust by Sinbreed. That’s where I discovered his range and thought that’s the guy I have been looking for.” Amirali remembers.
Do You Believe? is the closest to a ballad on the album. It is very melodic with a sing-along chorus, but has a fast guitar solo and aggressive singing.
“For me it was important to write songs that needed technically sophisticated musicians to play them. On the other hand, my songs had to be melodic and aggressive. But perhaps most importantly, I wanted A class lyrics. I wanted to express my secular and democratic views on political events in this part of the world through a medium that conveyed the emotions as well. I think progressive metal is the best vehicle to communicate this emotional knowledge,” says Amirali.
The sound of Whispers in Crimson incorporates a blend of progressive metal, 80s heavy metal, 70’s progressive and hard rock and then just Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio.
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