--And I was NOT disappointed! Their demo CD was excellent, especially in view of the fact that it was entirely self-produced and self-financed. I've never seen a more professional-looking demo CD. The production is damn near seamless and the sound quality is crisp and bright. Superior are from Germany and the CD was entirely produced on the Continent, so the near-flawless English on the CD insert is even more impressive.
I'm no expert and I play no instrument except the stereo and the steering-wheel :), but from all vantages this CD is splendid. Vocalist Michael Tangermann has a voice many progressive bands would kill for, with a fine range and good power. His best performances -- landmark, really -- come on, e.g., track 4, "Tomorrow's Eve," track 8, "Tainted Silence" and "Until the End," the last track, but his voice is fine throughout. English isn't his first language, but he knows and understands all the lyrics; even more reason to be impressed, since I would never have guessed English was a second language for him.
This CD is chock-full of surprises. Delicate keyboard work intermeshes cleanly with heavy, crunchy guitar (Track 2, "Why" is an example of a great wide-ranging prog track). In one song, track 7, "Dreamtime", a flute (or something sounding like one) appears. On track 6, "Escape From Reality", a delightful accoustic interlude with bongos appears, sounding somewhat Middle-Eastern in flavor. All the songs are so varied in tempo and feel that it takes a long time to tire of the CD. In my case, I still haven't, and it's been almost a year since I first discovered it. :)
Some of the band members swap parts and instruments back and forth, and it all sounds great. Special note should be made of the excellent drums and percussion from Thomas Mayer and Bernd Basmer's fine guitar work, which includes all the acoustic guitar on the CD. And there's the great keyboard work, and.....
In short, this CD is a must-get for progressive-metal fans. If your tastes are more toward the softer end of the spectrum (Yes, Cairo, Marillion) this CD might be a bit too hard and crunchy for you, but if you like Dream Theater, older Queensryche (or newer), Fate's Warning, Savatage, etc., I can almost guarantee you'll love this CD.
After mail-order distribution of their promo had continued for a while, with a burgeoning number of happy and awestruck fans, Superior was finally signed to an international distribution deal with Noise International. So great was the quality of their demo that Noise agreed to release the CD virtually untouched and unmodified, liner notes and all. Behind is now available at shops in Europe and through better sources in the States, for info, click here. Superior tours periodically on the Continent and if you have a chance to see them, take it. Someday we hope to see them in the States, but without label support from Noise, this will be all but impossible. This is a band that doesn't deserve obscurity or back-shelf treatment from their label. Let's hope we'll see Superior in the US soon!
All in all, this is another great CD from these guys. At one time I was handling US mail-orders for signed advance copies of this CD, but those are now available from progressive specialists Knights of the Round.