Release DetailsLABEL Sensory
RELEASED ON 8/2/2004
posted on 11/2004 By:
Sometime you just have to bite the bullet. In this particular case, the bullet is progressive, melodic, heavy/power metal from Italy, and absolutely not a genre I enjoy, but you can’t fault this long running band for their talent. Plus this review might break up the sudden gamut of faceless death metal that’s exploded of late.
Around since 1992, these ‘legends’ (in their own country) have a long running discography that spans eleven years, but this is the first time I've heard of them, so while I’m happy to introduce the Stateside prog metal fan to this talented outfit---you can have ‘em.
Well produced, rich sounding, epic and adequately synth laden, Time Machine are not strangers to the hallmarks of progressive metal, and with their country’s power metal lineage, the prog take is often laced with the bouncier, peppy elements of power metal but not full into the realms of the cheesy, instead being far more intellectual and complex. Time Machine’s solo heavy (there’s three ‘guest’ lead guitarists) Queensryche and Dream Theater meets Rhapsody sound will no doubt provide exquisite listening for those obsessed with virtuoso musicianship, the cosmos, and the intricacies of time travel, but personally, this kind of hairy chested, fog machine metal is up there with Circle II Circle and Masterplan for my own personal distaste. However, as an objective journalist, I am forced to tell you Time Machine are competent musicians with an ear for epic solos, laborious song structures, and complex thematic songs that only serve to showcase the narcissistic side of metal.
Marco Sivo, while heavily accented, has the requisite semi operatic pipes, but is acceptably grounded compared to power metal’s grabbed by the balls dramatics, and the music itself is (comparatively) subdued with is symphonic outbursts. The only over indulgence is the album’s essentially drawn out solo work that at times makes the album almost instrumental at times.
Flirting with an Eastern sound, “Tears of Jerusalem” breaks the album’s monotonous yet surreal complexities, and delivers a change up of surprising depth that shows Time Machine are more than capable of strutting with gleeful, over the top symphonics. The track actually hums with a moody, erratic intricacy. Instrumentally speaking, “The Calling” actually struck me as the albums best track, not only due to the lack of vocals, but because of its transient journey into a menagerie of paces and styles that isn’t locked into prog rocks steadfast histrionics as it flirts with Jann Hammer, Jean-Michel Jarre and even Hammond laced 70’s space rock. However, other tracks such as “Rotten Souls”, “Grains of Sand” and “Seeds of Revolution” tread familiar prog metal territory.
Either way, not an album I'll ever listen to again, but if a few of you fuzzy headed Prog rockers benefit from this review, then I shall sleep soundly tonight.
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