Entering Polaris is just one half of a two part project; the melodic progressive power half to contrast In Motion’s progressive thrash/death part. While the latter is yet to be released, Entering Polaris has hit the soundwaves, but to little notice - if any. Behind the scenes are guitarist and bassist Tom Tas and drummer Vincent van Kerckhove. Both projects are run by the same two people, saying all the different ideas could not possibly contain themselves within one single band name, and they both advertise themselves as being the band with all the cool singers. Be that as it may, Entering Polaris still has too many singers - and too many ideas - on too short a runtime. Lance King (ex- Pyramaze, ex- Balance Of Power) and Fabio Lione (Angra, ex- Rhapsody) help take the album to higher highs, while Björn Strid (Soilwork) seems out of place on the opening track. On the flip side, Therion vocalist Thomas Vikström gets at least one too many songs on his own, and while his style and intonation fit the tunes - give him fewer, or give him all. This is not his best work.
With this, their debut in the melodic progpower style, Entering Polaris deliver scattered bits and pieces of greatness, but much is held back by the compact fittings. Short songs that try to fit way too many vocalists in a single go, while some feature only the one. It suffers at times from a generic feel that seems hard to overcome, but still is briskly blown away on standout tracks that seem to slap away all doubts that it could be done. Lione adds that cheesy loftiness that only he can bring, but coupling him with more serious styled vocalists keeps it simpler, and works to great effects on distinctly proggy The Field Of Ghosts, likely the greatest track on the album alongside Paradise Reclaimed, a great power metal romper featuring Georg Neuhauser bringing his signature Serenity charisma - and a short, but heavy as all hell growl part delivered by Sindre Nedland (In Vain).
There are some truly interesting ideas, sadly contained in songs that never really get to grab a hold of you in their short runtime. Flightless has a super neat saxophone solo (courtesy of Gregg Rosetti (Suspyre)) to go along with a groovy prog vibe on Tas’s bass lines, but the song just ebbs out before it climaxes. The guitars, uplifting and melodic throughout are some of the best parts of the music. Be it the swift cheesiness lifted from Paradise Reclaimed, or the AOR styled fittings of Clear Skies, guitarist and bandleader Tas has worked the guitar parts out well and they drive the music thoroughly setting the tone for the songs. Then add to that the scattered pieces that reconnect to the death parts of Tas’ influences that give the album some well needed contrasts. So it’s not an instant love story, and it’s far from great, but with some truly inspired ideas that would have done well to be let lose, and Godseed is certainly an interesting listen, likely for fans of both power metal and prog metal alike.
Standout tracks: Godspeed, Paradise Reclaimed, The Field Of Ghosts