It took a while before I knew how this band was called… But, I admit I was immediately under the spell of the awesome cover. The booklet easily shows that this is some kind of concept CD but what could I expect musically? I didn’t have a clue until I heard the intro; yes, this must be some Progressive Metal concept CD. Not the easiest music to write but if it works out you often have a masterpiece… I’m curious.

Damn, a pity that the production isn’t that good, not clear enough but I am impressed by the music that I hear. Not a bad singer, great guitar solos and very varied, call it some kind of creative high quality Metal with roots in the traditional Metal. And yes, there’s a strong epic touch present in all I hear in that very first song, called ‘Darkness’. I’m sure fans of epic US Metal will adore this opening track, although I warn you keyboards are making part of the songs. Does it bother me? No, not at all…

It seems this band wants to tell the story of Count Monte Cristo, a story written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844. This tale tells how a man, Edmond Dantes, was imprisoned, for many years without a reason. He survived, found a treasure at the Island of Monte Cristo and used it to take revenge. An everlasting story, I suppose it is the first time a Metal band uses it, awesome. So, meanwhile I’m listening to ‘Betrayed’, another good Progressive Epic Metal song, including some outstanding classic guitars. Oh yes, Twenty 3:Fifty 9 owns good points, but I still miss an overwhelming production and the vocals are after all too mediocre. ‘Homecoming (providence, part I)’ proves again that this band contains fantastic musicians! So this album goes on, containing good songs but the weak points stay present as well…

Twenty 3:Fifty 9 can’t hold my attention. I hear several great songs, other songs are too average to me. Too less songs keep on playing in my mind and that’s something I miss on this concept CD. For this kind of music and concept albums outstanding vocals and first class production is necessary, I miss both. Writing a concept Cd is a big challenge, therefore this band deserves all of my respect. Nevertheless I need to say the band got me into the story but I could too easily drop out of it and that’s a pity. Believe me I am sure this band can do far better; the ideas are fantastic, the musicians great!

Anyway I’d like to consider this as a strong release, a CD fans of Epic and Progressive Metal should give a chance. My Points: 80/100 (Review by Officer Nice)

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