Overhead – Telepathic Minds (2023)

Overhead - Telepathic Minds (2023)
Artist: Overhead
Album: Telepathic Minds
Genre: Crossover Prog
Year Of Release: 2023
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
CD 1:
1. War to End All Wars (8:43)
2. Ghosts from the Future (12:41) :
– i) Endless Sleep
– ii) Last Chance to Bail
3. Sail Across the Universe (8:22)
4. The Pilot’s Not Fit to Fly (9:19)
5. Sleep Tight Sweetheart (5:50)

CD 2:
1. Telepathic Minds (17:18) :
– i) Hypnotized
– ii) Random Honesty
– iii) Telepathic Minds
– iv) Back in Time
– v) Reprise: Home Again
2. Tuesday That Never Came (4:04)
3. Planet of Disorder (7:18)
4. Sheep Stay Silent (7:45)
5. Almost Always Near the End (7:45)

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Personnel:
– Alex Keskitalo / vocals, flute
– Jaakko Kettunen / guitars
– Ville Sjöblom / drums
– Janne Katalkin / bass
– Jere Saarainen / keyboards

Overhead was formed in 1999, in Finland, and now they have returned to release their Magnum Opus, Telepathic Minds, on March 31, 2023. Overhead have played extensively for over 20 years at festivals and clubs in Germany, France, UK, Italy, and throughout Europe.

They have shared the stage with bands like Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, Spock’s Beard, Anathema, Threshold and Tangerine Dream, among the short list of spectacular bands they have supported. Telepathic Minds is Overhead’s long – awaited double studio album.

Overhead previously released a trilogy of studio albums: Zumanthum, (2002), Metaepitome, (2005), and, And We’re Not Here After All, (2008); released by the French Musea, label. Haydenspark, (2018), and Of Sun and Moon, (2012), followed on the success of the rest of the catalog.

The band is made up of: Alex Keskitalo, on vocals and flute; Jaakko Kettunen, on guitars; Ville Sjöblom, on drums; Janne Katalkin, on bass; and Jere Saarainen, on keyboards.

Overhead performed at festivals in the UK, (Summer’s End), and in Italy, (Veruno Prog Fest). Overhead was the first Finnish band ever to play at Europe’s biggest progressive rock festival, Night of the Prog, held at the legendary Loreley amphitheater in Germany. The show was recorded and released as a live album, Live at Loreley. Overhead has recently been invited to perform at Fusion Festival 5, in March 2024 in the UK!

Well, if you are going to make a double-album, magnum opus, in the modern age, you might want to pick up and listen to Overhead’s Telepathic Minds. This band has created a wonderful template for how to do it, in the 21st Century. One of the best albums I have heard this year, for sure. They put a lot of effort into this masterpiece and you can hear it everywhere, on each song, from beginning to end.

Telepathic Minds, is filled with long, deep-thinking tracks like you’d expect from some of the seminal bands of progressive rock, like Pink Floyd, ELP, Genesis, Yes, and others. The lead electric guitar work is straight out of David Gilmour’s tool shed. The flute, an inspiration from Traffic and Fairport Convention. The bass and drums support all of it well. Alex Keskitalo, has a wonderful voice which reminds me a little of David Gilmour and maybe Mariusz Duda, from Riverside.

Every track on this album is worthy of your consideration and listening time. The lyrics examine a brave future ahead that we may all participate in soon. Imagine telepathic abilities. I’m not sure I’m all in on that notion yet. The album examines the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of world. Imagine if enemies could examine each other’s thoughts, to more understand completely the reasoning behind decisions. Would we use it correctly, or misuse this ability? They take a stab at how they see it.

The opener, “War to End All Wars”, is a powerful 8:44 minute review of WWII and the ‘Blitz’, in Great Britain. Keskitalo sings, “Peaceful is the day. Restless every night”, which describes the experience of the ‘Blitz’ of the UK, perfectly. Keskitalo sings, “Stand down. Hold on a minute. Reaching for the hole in the wall. Holding out, defeated, admit it. London town. In the war to end all wars. We make ruptures in the fabric of time and space. But we’ll never change the human race”. All set to wonderful flute and backing orchestration, including the famous Churchill speech. Off to a deep-thinking adventure. Sit back and get comfortable. This is a wonderful, long album.

“Ghosts from the Future”, is the center of attention on side one of this majestic double album. On this over 12 minute track we begin to explore the future and move away from our violent past, to one which could be different, if we learn to use the mind to control our natural responses. Keskitalo sings, “Alone again. Let’s go find your center, open your mind. And depart”. All set to wonderful spacey keyboards from Jere Saarainen. Journey into space, and a future full of humans and non-human robotic actors interacting together. Lots of influences, the flute from Traffic and the drums, keyboards and electric guitar from Dream Theater. The instrumental parts of the songs are the album’s highlights by far. Some absolutely spectacular music fills this awesome track.

“Sail Across the Universe”, is a rocking song full of more great lyrics and electric guitar, with flute, bass, keyboard, and drum support. Keskitalo sings, “Sail across the universe. It’s understanding, it’s who you are”. The great age of exploration, which continues today, beyond the planet.

“The Pilot’s Not Fit to Fly’, opens with some of the best drum beats on this side of the LP. Great bass and electric lead guitar. Keskitalo sings, “Any truth would be lost, like an ocean. With any luck I will find. I will be home once again”. The flute work on this song makes it one of the best tracks on side one.

“Sleep Tight Sweetheart”, ends the first side of the album, on a dark and scary note. An Arena – like song, full of mystery and suspense. The guitar work, with drums is fantastic.

Side Two opens with the Magnum Opus, longest, and title track of the album, “Telepathic Minds”. It is over 17 minutes of examination into a world we can only imagine now, separated into five parts. It opens with hypnosis, to get you into the correct frame of mind. The acoustic guitar at the opening of this wonderful track is well appreciated. A very Pink Floyd – like beginning indeed. They even add some harp later in the track, which is well played and received. But it is the flute, guitar and keyboards solos throughout this album which makes it special and spectacular.

“Tuesday That Never Came”, is about what might happen, if we cannot learn to work together and try to bridge our differences. Nuclear annihilation. Keskitalo sings, “This is how we failed. And blame it on true north. This is not true north, seen another way. Some things can never change”.

“Planet Of Disorder”, opens with a flute, thunder thrust, the likes of which would make Ian Anderson cry tears of joy. Jethro Tull, at its best moments. Keskitalo sings, “Pretend it’s the numbers. Game it. You’ll never tame it. Everything ends up gone. And all that you breathe to be external. It’s not impossible”. There is a little of Sylvan in the sound of this song. Faster paced and similar to their last album. Which is a very good thing. Flute, matched with birdsong and acoustic guitar…perfect!

“Sheep Stay Silent”, is similar to so many Pink Floyd songs off Animals. Not a bad inspiration to draw from at all.

“Almost Always Near The End”, is the epic closer, full of keyboards and orchestration. Keskitalo warns, ”Take a bow, we made it home again. What if I said you were never in danger? If you think about the details for long enough. One of these days it’ll probably happen. Don’t let the headlines deceive you. It’s not enough to be real”. Then, a full-throated flute improvisation that would make Ian cry with joy. A powerful, lyrical song to close this epic journey.

This album is easily one of the best albums of 2023! No wonder this band is so well received throughout Europe. Get this and enjoy all the epic gatefold images of the cover and inside album artwork, and imagery of this sound. The album cover artwork is some of the best of 2023. The collage they made of themselves reminds me so much of the band Love’s collage, on the cover of “Forever Changes”. Excellent! I found a new band, that used the Covid Pandemic to really hit one out of the park. This is one of the most complete albums you will hear this year. Please give this a chance. You will not regret it!
~ Professor Mark, progressiverockcentral

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