This morning I was reviewing the new progressive rock albums that have been released in June. Among the releases was Suicide in B Minor by Whispers in Crimson which was released on June 24th. What made the album particularly interesting to me was, the band hails from Tehran in Iran. I knew that progressive metal had a strong following in the Middle East, but I also thought that it was difficult to produce metal music in Iran, which is actually pretty much the case according to the founder of Whispers in Crimson Amirali Nourbakhsh, who in the band’s biography at their bandcamp site says:
“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 as the owner of a strategy consulting firm. But not once in my life did I doubt that metal was what I wanted, and with Hadi’s (Hadi Kiani, keys, recording, mix, and mastering) support I did the impossible.”
Amirali, the guitarist, songwriter and leader of the band and his band mates: Hadi Kiani: Keyboards ,Jalal Gholami: Bass, Arash Moghaddam: Drums, Herbie Langhans Vocals have crafted what I think is one of the best progressive metal albums that I’ve listened to this year!! Three of the things that I like about the band are Amirali’s guitar work, Herbie Langhans vocals which in fact makes the second thing possible. Because I can understand Herbie’s vocals, I can in turn admire and enjoy Amirali’s songwriting!!
Herbie has provided vocals for both Sinbreed and Seventh Avenue. Amirali says this about finding Herbie.
“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.”
With Herbie blasting away on the vocals, Whispers in Crimson rip through a variety of songs written by Amirali with 6 of the 7 songs being about political events in the Middle East. An example is the title track “Suicide in B Minor” which tells the tale of a Palestinian shepherd who turns into a suicide bomber after finding his family slaughtered.The track is over eight minutes in length and the time signatures and metronome changes are what moves the song into the realm of progressive rock. Time changes are present throughout the entire album. Because the music is from Iran, I expected that there would be a Middle East sound to the music, ala Myrath, but that doesn’t really happen on this album. Amirali says this about his songwriting on the album..
“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 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.”
At CdBaby they that the album is for the folks who like Kamelot, Ronnie James Dio and Symphony X!
So check it out!!
Here’s the title track “Suicide in B Minor” from Whispers in Crimson”