A UK progressive metal band whose line-up consists of Andrew
McDermott (vocals), Karl Groom (gtr), Nick Midson (gtr), Jon Jeary
(bass), Richard West (keys) and Johanne James (drums). The band were
formed back in 1991 and this is their seventh release, including live
Opener `Phenomenon' gets things underway with a crunching metallic
riff (much of the guitar on the CD reminds me of Metallica), before
leading into a keyboard driven AOR-like chorus. `Choices' highlights
the keyboards of Richard West, an epic track in the mould of Dream
Theater. `Falling Away' is a slower number building-up with some
symphonic keyboard touches. The harmony vocals on this track would
put Journey to shame! My personal favourate track on the album.
`Fragmentation' sees the return of the crunching metallic riffs
and spacey keyboard solo. Those harmony vocals are back as
well! `Echoes of Life' highlights vocalist Andrew McDermott, who
sounds uncannily like Thunder's Danny Bowes on this song. `Round and
Round' continues the album's lyrical theme of reincarnation, one of
the album's shorter tracks clocking in at just over five
minutes. `Avalon' starts with a subtle piano/vocal intro leading
into a power ballad - again those Danny Bowes comparisons come to
mind. Album closer is the epic `Critical Mass (Parts 1-3)', the
album's tour de force with the band's musical prowess to the fore.
This would give Dream Theater a run for their money! Style changes -
from acoustic to all out metal.
Don't be put off by the prog metal tag, this can be enjoyed by
any rock fan. The album is built on songs and melody - two vital
components in my book. If you enjoy Dream Theater, Rush and Savatage
then try this CD.