Melodic Revolution Records Featured Album July/August 2017 Forever Twelve | Home

Melodic Revolution Records Featured Album July 2017
Forever Twelve | Home

Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Release Year: 2017
Country: USA
Genre: Classic/Symphonic/Progressive Rock/Heavy Prog


Band Members

John Baker – Lead Vocals
Steve Barberic – Keyboards
Tom Graham – Guitar/Keyboards/Bass/Vocals
Fernando Martinez – Drums/Percussion


Track Listing

The Seven Seas
Daisy Chain
Kansas By The Sea
Acoustic Rose
Fate Is In Our Hands


Contact Links

Forever Twelve Official Website

Forever Twelve Official Melodic Revolution Records Profile

Forever Twelve Official Facebook Page

Forever Twelve On YouTube

Melodic Revolution Records Official Website

There are many things going on with Forever Twelve’s Home. First of all this is their debut album for Melodic Revolution Records. The second being many many influences within the band’s dynamic happening here. Third of all this proves once again that the staff of Melodic Revolution Records continues to think outside the ‘proverbial box’ to grow their ever growing roster. According to Forever Twelve’s Official Facebook Page : 

What others have said:
…elements of jazz, folk, rock, fusion, neo-prog, classical and pop all used to serve a musical purpose, express a certain mood or idea
…should especially appeal to fans of Marillion, Clepsydra, or Flamborough Head
…These original songs show influences by Genesis, Yes, Camel, and Rush, among others

I say there is much more going on in all three areas of how the band sound, what fans would listen to this band and the influences of the band. Forever Twelve are a return to progressive rock in its purist form. This band takes it back where people trashed the three minute single for a song that was the length of a entire 22 1/2 minutes on vinyl. A time when people preferred the 4-8 panel gatefold and appreciated all the art in its purist form. It takes us back to the time when keyboards began to be celebrated instead of tolerated. It takes us back to the time when Billy Ritchie of 1-2-3/Clouds fame, basically gave birth to the progressive rock genre and influenced a few guys, one would be a guy named Keith Emerson, another would be Robert Fripp and another few guys by the name of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. Yes literally that Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson. 

.When I listen to Forever Twelve’s Home I am reminded of the early period of progressive rock that allowed people both an escape through the melodious labyrinth’s of multiple time signatures and chord progressions and unique rhythmic changes and further intellectual nurturing through its dreamscapes due to its lyrical content and concepts. Forever Twelve also seem to embrace this earlier period of progressive rock along with the later periods of Supertramp and neo progressive periods of the 1980’s.

Forever Twelve’s dedication to the craft is very reminiscent to 1-2-3/Clouds, Yes, Caravan. Eloy, Genesis, Lindisfarne, Fairport Convention, Strawbs and Eclection on the earlier end. On the more current and modern end elements of Marillion, Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard, Enchant and The Samurai Of Prog come to mind. The band has a very uncanny ability to take all those earlier influences and bands and create their own distinct sound without it appearing to be dated, imitated or duplicated. They also do this without watering anything down as well.

Throughout the duration of the seven songs on Forever Twelve’s Home the band certainly manages to stay true to the very core values that have come to define progressive rock as a genre to some and a lifestyle to others. Throughout the remainder of this review I will be pointing out the various influences that shine through from every song that makes up Forever Twelve’s Home.

The Seven Seas opens up from the first note with the fullness of the band. You have a very deep rhythm section serving as the anchor. Meanwhile in harmony to the deep rhythm section you have the fullness of the stringed section serving as a rudder in which to steer the track in its various time signatures and chord progressions. The band manages to balance all of this where it is not overwhelming as to invite the listener in with ease. Along with such beautiful harmonic balance between the instruments, you have the angelic voice of John Baker. The vocal reminds me of all the best parts of Jon Anderson of Yes meets Rodger Hodgson of Supertramp going on within John Baker.

There also seems to be subtle elements of jazz in the tradition of the late Alan Holdsworth going on underneath the fullness of the arrangement. Although more of a neo progressive style, I would be remiss in saying that this contains some heavy prog elements in melody with the neo progressive nature.This track is also as much guitar driven as it is keyboards in the stringed section. The deep bass/drum rhythm section in harmony with the deep keyboard portions provide a very heavy prog melody throughout the track.

Home begins with a drum along with the bass serving more and a percussive instrument within the rhythmic section. From there the guitar shines through to allow the fullness of the bands instrumental to breathe. After all this beautiful open melody the track drops and breaks and allows for the warmth in the vocals to enter with the instrumental to achieve a full harmony. Also after the break and vocal the track takes a more atmospheric nature with the steady flow on keyboards while the rhythm section serves as a backbone to the vocals. The track also includes intricate time signatures and chord progressions more in the tradition of Knight Area meets Cairo. This track has some more emphasis on vocal harmonies as well that add more depth to the song in general.

Daisy Chain is the band’s first single off Home. This track maintains the jazz style integrity that seems to be a unsung hero to the album. While the deep rhythm sections and atmospheric elements with the keyboards serve as ground zero for the album, the jazz elements really trigger the time signatures as much as the progressive elements. The band have a very keen sense on when to employ a jazz based time signature and a progressive time signature. Daisy Chain is a prime example of this.The song takes a break midway through with a semi solo that allows the various instruments to execute more intricate chord progressions. This track is also very loaded with classic progressive rock elements much like ELP meets Yes. The band really draw from many parts of the progressive rock spectrum and this song is a perfect example of it.

Kansas By The Sea is one of the more experimental and atmospheric songs the band has offered up on Home. It opens with a beautiful effect of a ocean wave washing up against the shoreline. This happens in melody and harmony with a piano. The ocean effect with the piano give the track a conceptual feel about it. This is a track that could open up introductions to newer fans going forward. The guitar and bass lines also give the appearance of two different instrumental characters within the song. Lyrically this is both a retrospective track and one of optimism equally. The song also has a very robust chorus working for it among its experimental nature. This song has periodic breaks to set up the next part of the desired story of the band. Towards the end the song takes on a very heavy prog King Crimson style in the tradition of 21st Century Schizoid Man.

Karmageddon starts out with various effects of the city before going into a very guitar and bass driven chord progression. This is the heaviest song on Home. The bass and guitar really send the mind and emotions of the listener on a immediate roller coaster ride. It soon drops a bit and a very balanced vocal comes into play. From there the track takes on a more methodical purpose. Every riff, every portion of the instrumental has a definite purpose and does not serve as just any old filler for the song. The drums really send this song into rhythmic areas that are very unorthodox. The band shows its full time signature and chord progression prowess on this song. All of this really makes the song a very unique offering to the album. The keyboards are more in the Hammond Organ tradition.

Acoustic Rose is just that a rose. It opens up with a beautiful acoustic guitar and keyboard atmosphere that allows the listener to settle in and start to really digest the entire album. This is just as strong with the lyrical and vocal harmonies as it is with the instrumental melodies. The deep rhythm section lays back a bit for the more guitar and keyboard driven atmospheres to shine through. The vocal harmonies have a very folk Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young vibe working about them as well. This seamlessly transitions into the next song Fate Is In Our Hands.

Fate Is In Our Hands is the seventh and final song on Home. This transitions seamlessly off the prior song Acoustic Rose. This opens up like a old school gritty blues based guitar chord progression. The added crackle of vinyl effect is very rare in the era of digital media. The listener can easily notice that the band is paying homage to the essential roots that made progressive rock not only a genre but a lifestyle. This has both a heavy Pink Floyd meets King Crimson atmosphere. The band does a great job playing a summary of elements on here that really tie all the album together as a cohesive unit. This one is also heavy King Crimson induced throughout the entire track.

After listen to this I come to the conclusion that Melodic Revolution Records has another great signing on its hands. I would encourage the band to tour with this. I believe a live experience of these songs and this album in particular would be a real treat to fans both old and new to Forever Twelve. This is a band that could easily qualify for a Cal Prog, ROSFest even Prog/Power USA & Prog/Power Europe. I give Forever Twelve’s Home a 5/5 .



Rik Emmett (Triumph) And RESolution9 | RES9 (2016)


Rik Emmett (Triumph) & RESolution9 | RES9 (2016)

Label: Rockit Records/Mascot Label Group

Release Year: 2016

Country: Canada

Genre: Classic Rock/Blues/AOR


Band Members

Rik Emmet – Lead Guitars/Vocals

Dave Dunlop – Guitars

Paul Delong – Drums

Steve Stingley – Bass


Guest Musicians

James Labrie – Dream Theater – Vocals

Alex Lifeson RUSH – Guitars


Track Listing 

Stand Still

Human Race – (Alex Lifeson)

I Sing  – (James LaBrie)

My Cathedral

The Ghost of Shadow Town

When You Were My Baby

Sweet Tooth

Heads Up

Rest of My Life

End of the Line (Alex Lifeson & Jame LaBrie)

Grand Parade (Gil Moore & Mike Levine) (Bonus Track)


Contact Links

Rik Emmett Official Website

Rik Emmett Official Facebook Page

Rik Emmett Official Twitter

Rik Emmett Official YouTube Channel

Rik Emmett Official Mascot Group Label Profile

Mascot Label Group Official Website



I can still remember my first introduction to Triumph. It was at the US Festival at Devore California in 1983. My main listening at that time was the NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Diamond Head and even some Ozzy Osbourne. So when I discovered I was going out to the US Festival with my parents to the Rock & Metal Day I had this preconceived idea that was going to watch and even listen to old geezer music. To my shock and surprise it was one of the very best concerts I have been to.

 This was Day #2 and the following played on the bill that day. Judas Priest , Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne , Quiet Riot, Scorpions, Triumph, Van Halen. The one  thing all this bands and artists had in common was in the vocals. The vocals on all this acts were up in the high rent district with towering soprano like styles. Besides Rob Halford in Judas Priest which was obvious of his insane range at the time, another one really stuck out at me. That being Triumph’s Rik Emmett. It was almost mandatory to have a vocal style like that in those days with this music.

Coming out of the same area about the same time as their contemporaries RUSH, Triumph would forge another path for Toronto, Ontario Canadian AOR/Arena Rock. What RUSH did to the progressive hard rock, Triumph would do for a new upcoming sub genre called Melodic Metal/AOR. Rik Emmett’s towering vocal style would also become both a mainstay on FM radio and the new medium of the day MTV. Like RUSH, Zebra and ZZ Top who were all three men outfits, Triumph would also find some satisfactory success on MTV. Songs like Lay It On The Line, Magic Power, Follow Your Heart and Fight The Good guaranteed that Triumph was much more than just the flavour of the month at the time. They were mainstays throughout the majority of the latter 1970’s through to the middle to latter part of the 1980’s.

Fast forward now to 2016. I am still discovering new depths and different sides to Rik Emmett. He returns with a powerful, knity grity style of stripped down almost blues hard rock AOR with Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9. If you think for a moment this is just another Triumph style big arena rock/AOR/Melodic Metal sound you are in for somewhat of a shock, but a good shock nevertheless. Rik Emmett explores many sounds and depths of guitar oriented rock with this new album.  Rik Emmett has also tapped into the rich Canadian rock pedigree to enlist the likes of Dream Theater’s James Labrie, RUSH’s Alex Lifeson, Dave Dunlop , etc … for Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9.

On Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9, we see Rik Emmett really strip down to bare bones straight up bluesy AOR rock. It is also amazing to see how he employed two people more known for their prog rock prowess in Alex Lifeson and James Labrie on a very fundamental straight away blues rock and how their individual talents totally fall in line with great precision on both time and range. Now a little breakdown of Rik Emmett  & RESolution9 – RES9.


Stand Still begins with a very straight forward stripped down blues chord progression.  It is almost that Texas southern fried rock made better known by ZZ Top. Lyrically it tells the story of all sorts of characters. The rhythm section is partially blues with light jazz elements you would find in a Zydeco joint in New Orleans. The guitar solo’s are nasty in nostalgia yet with a wonderful modern elemental sound. This track is the perfect setup for the bluesy buffet ahead.

Human Race (feat. Alex Lifeson) begins with a very familiar opening passage on guitar by Alex Lifeson. This is the very sound a riff playing we have come to know Alex in RUSH. This time it is acclimated more towards a bluesy passage more than a progressive one. Rik has totally built a Toronto Ontario, bloodline throughout this album and it starts on this track.


Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)

I Sing (feat: James Labrie) Lyrically this is a classic tale of the life of a working musician going in and out of the trials and tribulations of life. James Labrie comes in quite subtly on vocals and takes over in certain parts. Both Rik and James do a great job playing of the rhythm section. Particularly the drum/bass rhythm section. This track also features another side to James Labrie many do not see in Dream Theater, that being a ‘Classic Rock Vocalist’.

My Cathedral is a very introspective track of people making proclamations of what faith and life mean. Is it God, music, whatever people find peace of mind and spirit in. This is really has some American southern fried roots in the chord progressions. Rik allows both the lyrical and instrumental narrative to carry this track into the middle and more experimental tracks of the album.

The Ghost Of Shadow Town starts off with thunderous drums to set the rhythmic tone with a almost steel guitar vibe.  The guitar solos throughout this track add more of a accent to the rhythm section narrative. Rik also employs more of a semi spoken word semi melodic vocal to tell the story.

When You Were My Baby starts out much in a Southern Texas Stevie Ray Vaughn style guitar passage. There are some nice isolated elements throughout to showcase both the instrumental and lyrical portions of the song. This is almost sounds like he and his band did this one live in studio and went back and did vocals later. The guitar solos are organically nasty and fluently blues.

Sweet Tooth is a little love ballad that is done in a 2:12 time frame. Kind of short and sweet , no pun intended. It is almost has a later 1960’s blues soul vibe about it.  The lyrical content is how the individual listener receives it.

Heads Up starts out with with a straight away rock passage. This track is probably the closest the traditional Triumph fan will enjoy. This is probably the most AOR track on the album in its anthemic nature.

Rest Of My Life begins with a smooth acoustic guitar passage along with a very harmonic vocal melody. Rik cuts in with a solo vocal isolation in the middle of the beautiful vocal harmony. This track has very rolling guitar oriented rock chord progressions. A lot of Rik Emmett’s vocal register over the last 40 years really flourishes in this one.

End Of The Line (feat: Alex Lifeson & James Labrie) displays the full Canadian rock element over the last half a century.  Rik has written towards the strengths of both Alex Lifeson & James Labrie while maintaining the original blues objective he has for the album.  This track is very heavy on the Classic Rock and AOR elements. This is the essential song that is very appropriate for both sub genres. There is a beautiful nastiness in the guitar passages throughout the track. The solos are big and so are the rhythmic elements. The solo’s are huge and you can hear both Rik Emmett’s signature style and Alex Lifeson’s signature style within the context of the main narrative.



Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)

Grand Parade (feat: Gil Moore & Mike Levine) {Bonus Track} sees Rik Emmett reunited with his Triumph band mates. This is a very subtle track. The guitars and vocal harmonies progress towards an apex where the the track takes some subtle drops and begins to build in between passages. It also does not depend on the verse/bridge/chorus format in the lyrical narrative.

I will say this  about Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9, this was a very unexpected gift to music in 2016. In a year plagued by many losses in the music world this is one of those albums that brings home what traditional ‘classic rock’ and AOR are about. It also continues to solidify Rik Emmett’s legacy as one of the best Canadian songwriters and musicians of our time.This album also has confirmed in me the maturity and appreciation for music outside my heavy metal and folk rock and progressive rock/metal roots.  Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9 gets a 4.75/5 .

Making Of Rik Emmett  & RESolution9  RES9 Video


Video Courtesy of (Mascot Label Group Official YouTube Channel)