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Letters from the Labyrinth Reviews
(01-10-2017, 01:39 PM)James1 Wrote:
(01-10-2017, 04:56 AM)69RoadRunner Wrote: I don't think Jennifer and Adrenne were "brought back".  I think their songs have just been sitting around for years after they were recorded.

If Paul had Georgia and Chloe on them, it would take another 8 years of finessing the songs before they were released.  Smile

That's what I get out of it. The album started off very strong with time and distance, madness of men, and Prometheus. Almost starting to think they ran out of time and just threw stuff together for the rest of it. Not to mention the very keyboard like sounding "orchestra" in mountain labyrinth and king rurik.  Very noticable it's not "real".

agreed but I like Mountain Labyrinth and King Rurik nonetheless.
(01-11-2017, 02:54 AM)TSOd Wrote:
(01-10-2017, 04:56 AM)69RoadRunner Wrote: I don't think Jennifer and Adrenne were "brought back".  I think their songs have just been sitting around for years after they were recorded.

If Paul had Georgia and Chloe on them, it would take another 8 years of finessing the songs before they were released.  Smile

That is what I thought too but from what I either read or heard in an interview I was under the impression which could have been wrong I admit  Undecided that they were brought back for those two songs for "the perfect sound" Paul always wants. I agree with you about Georgia and Chloe.  Big Grin

Then if Jennifer on Past Tomorrow and Adrienne on Stay weren't brought back to do those songs and they were in the vault for who knows how long then that is even more reason to wonder why did it take six years to put Letters out.  Huh
(11-14-2015, 05:57 AM)danfromnj Wrote: I have been reading reviews on Facebook and elsewhere and opinions vary on this album.  The common thread I am seeing from most folks is "underwhelmed" or "disappointed".

This was the first review I have seen from a news source (Omaha World-Herald), and what I think is a pretty fair review:


Rating: two stars (out of four)

* * *

For years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has launched its tour right here.

The prog-rock band rehearse Christmas favorites for weeks at the Mid-America Center and then kick off their tour there, as they will Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets available through Ticketmaster.)

But for the first time in years, the band has a new album. Though “Letters From the Labyrinth” is another prog-rock record, this one isn’t quite like the others.

It’s not a Christmas album, and it doesn’t have a unifying story that ties the entire album together. Instead, it’s a collection of disparate songs about banking, humanity, bullying and the Berlin Wall.

It’s a smattering of ideas that don’t really stick, but we came here for the orchestral heavy metal: complicated melodies, guitar solos and intertwining string arrangements.

It’s amazing and technical playing that’s sure to impress any fan of precise progressive rock. But it’s also a little tedious. All those ever-present solos and precise melodies kind of blend together song after song.

And I question why studio recordings would have so many synthesizers replicating strings and grand pianos when surely, with this band as successful as it is, they could have used real musicians. According to the liner notes, they did, but it’s hard to pick out the real players from the synthesized sections.

I’m most entertained by “Mountain Labyrinth,” which seems like perfect music to play during an action movie battle or as the background during a Dungeons & Dragons session.

“What the Night Conceives” at least has some aggressive playing, and vocalist Kayla Reeves delivers a solid performance.

The best performance on the record comes from Halestorm lead singer Lzzy Hale, who sings on a version of “Forget About the Blame.” Unfortunately, her talents are wasted on an extremely repetitive metal ballad.

Your enjoyment of this album will probably depend on your overall enjoyment of the band in general. If you dig their rock opera style and hair metal music, you’ll be into this. But don’t buy this looking for another Christmas favorite.

What say you?
Synthesized instruments instead of real musicians another reason to question then why it took six years to put out Letters.
(11-30-2015, 08:49 AM)SkyDiver Wrote: I have to say that I was definitely disappointed when I first heard that album.  It is hard to come up with completely new stuff that sounds as great as your old stuff while trying to adhere to the "sound" that everyone expects of you.

The album did grow on me after the second and third times through it.  I think it is better than many other bands can do, but I agree with the overall direction of the commentators here.

Like everyone I eagerly anticipated Letters. At the same time another eagerly awaited album by another favorite of mine was coming out. Now I am a huge TSO fan but the album by my other favorite blew me away and I couldn't stop playing it. Letters I played two or three times and put it on the shelf. The album has not grown on me.
(11-20-2015, 12:25 AM)terryh Wrote: Perhaps Paul is steering the good ship TSO in a new direction.  I wondered about this since Kayla Reeves was brought on board.  Certainly talented, but, in my opinion, not a good fit with TSO of old.

I like Letters from the Labyrinth but I have not found the magical moment in it like I did with Beethoven and Night Castle.  It is probably there waiting on my discovery!

You hit the nail right on the head: new direction starring Kayla Reeves, Wacken was the start and a preview of things to come . I think TSO will abandon the Christmas show for 2017 at least for a generic metal show featuring Letters which was reported to have a world tour and things like CES, Christmas Jam, Wizards In Winter, just to name a few to keep the Christmas idea somewhat alive. Talented probably but like you say not a good fit for the TSO of old but the new metal TSO that is coming yes. I could go on and on why.

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