[Review] Overhead – Telepathic Minds

Overhead are a Finnish band formed in 1999. Over the years, they have established themselves as one of the best on the European scene thanks to top-notch albums and live performances. In addition to their highly refined Progressive Rock compositions, one of their characteristics is the presence on their albums of long epic suites, in which they develop their personal and original sound. The band’s new and eagerly awaited release is a double album entitled “Telepathic Minds,” released on March 31, 2023 and containing 10 tracks for almost 90 minutes of music. Inside the album we find two epic suites and long tracks, with the band displaying an excellent state of form and inspiration. The lyrics of this work deal with the harsh period of the pandemic, during which the album took shape, with the usual accuracy and sophistication that characterises the band. Musically, we can find all the characteristics that a Progressive Rock fan looks for in an album, alternating strong passages with symphonic openings, combining tradition and modern sounds with their own personal style. The band immediately throws us into the Prog context of the album right from the opener “War to End All Wars,” a song that develops with a musical crescendo and intensity that leads into an instrumental section enriched by solo inserts. The horns and keyboards give a symphonic touch and counterbalance the solidity of the guitar work both in the riffs and in the extended solo in the final part. The rhythm section is solid, with elaborate drumming and deep, load-bearing bass lines that give body to the song. Next up is “Ghosts from the Future,” the first suite on the disc, which runs over 12 minutes and is divided into two chapters. The long duration is used in its entirety to develop interesting textures and interweaving between keyboards and flute in the first part, with the rhythm section enriched by continuous tempo changes. The vocal parts are dynamic, warm and expressive in the solo verses and engaging in the refrains and choral passages. An interweaving of Progressive Rock and melodies with an Oriental flavour, with the harder parts alternating with Symphonic openings, a very interesting track full of ideas. “Sail Across the Universe” combines gritty, more Rock-like riffs and guitar work, as well as energetic and engaging vocals, with more Progressive textures and tempo changes. The choral refrains give a melodic touch to the song and remain in the listener’s mind for a long time. The continuous tempo changes allow for a blend of Progressive Rock and Metal, enhancing both the compositional and performing technique of the band. The guitar takes the lead in two instrumental sections with very intense and technical solo inserts. A ballad, titled “The Pilot’s Not Fit to Fly” with catchy atmospheres could not be missing from the tracklist. The vocals are warm and expressive, while the sund mixes AOR, Soft Prog and more Heavy inserts, with a fine flute solo first and guitar solo later, which develop into the instrumental sections. With the return of the vocal and the opening theme the song closes, leaving us with good feelings. The first CD ends with “Sleep Tight Sweetheart,” which is notable for its Spaghetti Western atmosphere and forays into Blues Rock. The guitar offers an extended solo, which accompanies us throughout the middle part of the song. In the final part the rhythm section is more percussive, while the guitar work and atmospheres take us back to the old Wild West. The second CD opens with the title-track “Telepathic Minds,” an epic suite divided into the 5 chapters, which resumes within it all the characteristics of the band’s sound. Mixing different genres and styles, with a first part more Rock melodic in structure and with a virtuoso guitar solo. It moves on to Progressive Metal and more Heavy sounds with the flute coming to the fore, then giving way to carpets of keyboards and an energetic vocal in the middle part. Keyboards that always in the central part offer solo inserts and melodies that with the vocal bring the sound to melancholic atmospheres full of pathos. In the second part the guitar brings us back to the masters of the 1970s with a Gary moore style. In the final part a foray into heavier sounds increases the intensity and accelerates the rhythm before closing with energy. The album’s shortest track “Tuesday That Never Came” differs from the rest in its more melodic style and close to Radio Rock. After the long and elaborate previous track, this passage softens the tone thanks to a more linear but still engaging structure. “Planet of Disorder” returns to the band’s more progressive sounds, with an imprint reminiscent of the Jethro Tull style. Granitic guitar riffs intertwined with flute, a solid rhythm section and a mixture of Heavy Rock and Folk with Prog as the common thread and point of union. The vocals are dynamic and expressive, interpreting both the more energetic and the more melodic parts with intensity. There are interesting soloist cues in the instrumental parts, with guitar and flute in great prominence. Heavy guitar riffs with an Oriental flavour and a solid rhythm section characterise “Sheep Stay Silent.” A track reminiscent of Zeppelin’s Kashmir, well-developed and enriched by continuous and inseparable flute tempo changes. The bass offers killer bass-lines that flesh out the sound, built on granitic guitar riffs and flute, an energetic, technical and engaging track. The second CD and album conclude with “Almost Always Near the End,” which continues on the sounds of the previous one. An engaging track, with the flute in great evidence, hard guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section, while the vocals offer a dynamic and energetic performance. More technical passages alternate with more melodic ones, pleasantly concluding this listening, leaving us with the desire to listen to the album many more times in the future. A band that confirms the good things heard over the years and in previous releases. The energy of Rock blends with the more elaborate traits of Prog, long tracks that alternate intense vocal parts and valuable instrumental sections where all the artists involved highlight their personal technique. A recommended listen to all lovers of Progressive sounds, high-level ideas, well composed and performed, one of the best albums released in 2023 so far.


CD 1 (44:55)
01. War to End All Wars (8:43)
02. Ghosts from the Future (12:41) :
– i) Endless Sleep
– ii) Last Chance to Bail
03. Sail Across the Universe (8:22)
04. The Pilot’s Not Fit to Fly (9:19)
05. Sleep Tight Sweetheart (5:50)

CD 2 (44:10)
06. Telepathic Minds (17:18) :
– i) Hypnotized
– ii) Random Honesty
– iii) Telepathic Minds
– iv) Back in Time
– v) Reprise: Home Again
07. Tuesday That Never Came (4:04)
08. Planet of Disorder (7:18)
09. Sheep Stay Silent (7:45)
10. Almost Always Near the End (7:45)


Alex Keskitalo / Vocals, Flute
Jaakko Kettunen / Guitars
Ville Sjöblom / Drums
Janne Katalkin / Bass
Jere Saarainen / Keyboards

Read our exclusive interview with the band here: https://progrockjournal.com/interview-exclusive-interview-with-overhead/

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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