Album Title: 
I Am The Psychic Wars
Release Date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Review Type: 

With little info to be found anywhere else, I'll introduce this new act to you with the text also posted at the label's website (altered, of course, to the usual ConcreteWeb criteria):

”In a world of collaborations and compromises, Aktor achieves these ends by sustaining a respectful silence between its creative contributors: avant-garde serialists Jussi Lehtisalo and Tomi Leppänen in Pori, Finland, and across the Atlantic in Chicago, Heavy Metal singer/ songwriter Professor Black. All in all, one could say that Aktor plays Top 40 Heavy Metal with a delicious psychedelic flair, that may one day have some fans in common with Sandy Pearlman, Alan Davey, and/or Roky Erickson. Truthfully, Aktor's origins are uncertain and its intentions unspecified, and its music and process are accordingly unconceptual and perhaps a bit tense. Yet the outcome has much in common with the premeditated, synthetic Pop music that has dominated airwaves since the 1980s. The lyrical narrative is similarly accessible on the surface, despite its protagonist(s) speaking from altered and/or incomplete states of being.”

And that's it...that's all info the wary reviewer has to depend on for his piece of writing on the band...unless of course such a person happens to know whom it is the label's talking about. Because, you see, the Finnish gentlemen mentioned above are both members of that fine Finnish music institution know until recently as Circle, institution which licenced that brand name to a completely different set of musicians in order to walk pathways which are geared toward more accessible AOR music under the new monicker of Falcon (ex-Circle), and whom recently released their debut album (review following soon). And Professor Black is none other than one Chris Black (official name Chris W. Maycock), whom in the past was a member of the revered Nachtmystium at the time of their 2004 EP Eulogy IV (on which he contributed bass and keyboards). He has since contributed to other Nachtmystium recordings in different capacities (bass, vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming and drums), but always as guest. He even acted as recording/ mixing engineer and producer on 4 of the band's recordings, and did the same for other bands, including Dawnbringer, High Spirits, Pharaoh and Superchrist (all supposedly still active bands in which he also plays), as well as Jucifer and Züül.

For Aktor, Professor Black's activities limit themselves to singing, the Finnish part of the equation taking care of the instrumental part of the music which, as mentioned above, is a commercial Heavy Rock, in which you'll find catchy guitar melodies topped with atmospheric keyboards (which augment that mentioned psychedelic touch), and easy-listening type of clean vocals (no screaming or growling involved here!). In a funny way, one might see this side-project as a continuation of the original Circle (as known a couple of years ago, before they went into soundtrack music), with a different singer and with a limited amount of musicians. At (www.) ektrorecords.com, you can listen to the title track, and convince yourself of the correctness of that statement. Go do it now, and know that the 2-track single is available on 7-inch vinyl from Ektro's vinyl subsidiary Full Contact Records. If you're into vinyl, better move fast to get your copy!