Roswell Six - Terra Incognita: A Line In The Sand,
This is the follow-up album to the debut “Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon” but whereas that album was put together by Erik Norlander, this time that duty falls to Henning Pauly who has surrounded himself with musicians he knows well - vocals are by rock legends Steve Walsh (Kansas), Michael Sadler (Saga), Sass Jordan, Alexander Froese (Frameshift) and Nick Storr (The Third Ending) and guest appearances by Charlie Dominici (solo, original Dream Theater vocalist), Juan Roos (Shadow’s Mignon) and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon and many others). For those who are unaware of the concept behind Roswell Six, it is worth repeating. Acclaimed author Anderson developed the universe and story of “Terra Incognita,” a tale of sailing ships, sea monsters, and the crusades. He then expanded on some of the storylines and with his wife Rebecca Moesta, wrote all the lyrics to the songs. The first novel in the series, THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, was released in June 2010 and this ties in with debut album, while the second CD ties in with THE MAP OF ALL THINGS.
So, overall a very ambitious project and Anderson and Moesta penned the lyrics/story again for this album and even co-wrote two songs with multi-Grammy winner Janis Ian. When a project has such importance and is really under the microscope, it can be extremely hard to produce music that stands up to all the attention – but this really does. Henning is no stranger to producing complex music, and while he has brought in 7 singers – he does everything else himself! But, as with all of Henning’s albums this sounds very much like a band – not one guy in a studio laying down track after track. He has stamped his own authority all over this while continuing on from what Erik started as opposed to creating a totally brand new identity.
This is progressive melodic rock as it’s finest. Yes, there will be some decriers who say that the music itself is nothing new, and there is nothing here that is contentious or challenging – but when it comes sheer listening pleasure, it rarely gets any better than this.