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Gonna have a little less to say about this one (to the disappointment of no one, I’m betting), the sophomore outing from the Vegas outfit who laid down some pretty impressive wagers with last year’s The Forgotten Scroll. Here, along with a new preoccupation with the sands of time, they gamble on a fifth wheel in rhythm guitarist Chip Chrovian, no doubt a flesh-out factor who apparently survived the band’s trial by fire, whatever that was, dry-eyed, unbruised, and with a few chops in his pocket to cook up. In related good news, the rest of the crew - Rumley, Plocica, Poe, and of course Freddy – haven’t sailed off into the sunset.
Tony Fredianelli (or Freddy, as I call him), a Shrapnel Records’ golden guitarist, retains his nearly undisputed lead mantle, however with this nine-tracker his status seems to soften a bit, his approach somewhat now more reserved. It’s a noticeable pull back on the stitching that successfully smooths out the seams in the band’s musical fabric. That’s at least what I hear. Don’t fret, though, ‘cause skill and talent are still his outstretched wings allowing him to soar over this album with solos in his beak, only here the shadows his wings had once cast aren’t as, I guess, oppressively overhead. Maybe the responsibilities unloaded by the second guitar loosened the guy up a bit. Or it was just the natural progression made during the passing year. Or they read a review or two. Whatever the case, instead of leveling The Eyes of Time’s new landscape with a meteor’s scatter force, its impact skids across its surface and ultimately lands in one piece. Those who survived the band’s last crater will (may) be thankful for the more passive damage but will still recognize the intact fluency, professionalism, and progressive trajectory. Meanwhile, to those new to their aftermath, this more evenly dispensed harm might be just what the astronomer ordered. Then again, we can’t pick and chose survivors.
Unlike The Forgotten Scrolls, no particular pieces of this comet glow with their own visible radiation, and if ya wanna throw a positive spin on this, could further attest to this disc’s seamlessness and solidarity. Offered instead are nine hefty rocks of progressive power metal with contamination readings ranging from high 5s to low 8s on my Geiger counter’s success gauge. Once translated, it means this rock collection grounded in traditional songwriting (“H.G. Wells”, “The Hour Glass”, “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow”), volatile cuts the last to lay still (“Alexander the King”, “West World”, “Twilight of Modern Man”), grace of wordless turmoil (“The Day Time Stood Still”), and outcast anomalies (brooding opener “Father Time” and closer “Mystic”, where patches of serenity grow on low cliffs of grandeur) is of above-average grade.
Once again, these guys are a unit thick like toothpaste, likely more so than last year. The guitar enrichment doesn’t spell anything but success as it (and Chip) nicely fleshes out the quintet’s progressive sound and style and irons out creases and bumps the current material could’ve known. Mouthpiece Steve Plocica fights his way back to formidably defend his scalding and sometimes ice shard-sharp, yet daunting, frayed, and husky stage which, while having never etched his existence in historical metal memory, make him a fairly spontaneous and stalwart swordsman when armed with a mike stand. Yep, earned paychecks all around.
Still, we’re left with a paradox. I am, anyway. The Forgotten Scroll, I feel, is a more adventurous parchment with highlights multihued in memory’s permanent markers. Meanwhile, The Eyes of Time, to me, is more strongly level-headed and level-handed and mostly straight in aural shape, color, and tone.
Which sounds like an acid trip in an art house and which sounds like the head bouncer for the accounting department?
I was browsing through demo download dungeon on the metal discussion forums downloading anything and everything that still had a working link. I spent about an hour or three downloading these tracks on my shitty 56k modem. I listened to them the next day and the whole way through, I was thinking one adjective to sum up every song: generic. When it was over, I felt one thing: disappointment. The songs are all verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/etc. style, which makes for a very repetitive album. I couldn't believe I wasted hours downloading this boring, generic GARBAGE!
There are absolutely NO MEMORABLE SONGS AT ALL on this thing! The guitar solos are nice and tricky but that's all, and not even those are good enough to make for so much as a a memorable song! The vocals are absolutely generic of the decade, something that I've heard in other bands like Ballistic, glam era Pantera, and well-known heavy metal powerhouse Iron Maiden. They're the typical 80s high-flying somewhat operatic vibrato/falsetto stuff, which everybody was doing at the time making his vocals totally typical and common.
The guitars pretty either riff one chord really quickly along with the bass snare bass snare crash somewhere drums and boring generic vocals or they chug along with the bass snare bass snare crash somewhere drums and boring generic vocals.
I wish I could use specific songs as examples for stuff, but I really honestly can't because they're all pretty much the same song with a different riff and speed.
What a fucking waste of time. 14 points out of 100 for the guitar solos.
[Note: This review has been entered in rateyourmusic.com under the name Total_Disaster]
This album just hits a spot for me. I can't explain it, really, but I just like it. It starts off with the song 'Father Time', which is a decent opener because it's one of those songs with some catchy riffs right in the beginning to get you hooked. This song gets repetitive after a while, as it's pretty much five minutes of the same stuff. Moving onto the second track, West World. Wow... This song is basically what makes me like this album as much as I do. Good riffs, nice vocals, solid drumming. Not only that, but it's refreshing to hear after the bland song before it. Another thing I like about this particular track is what it progresses into. The first part of the song is pretty good stuff, but it turns into an even more enjoyable half with plenty of guitar emphasizing.
Twilight Of Modern Man is more of the same, on a lesser extent. Then there's Alexander The King, which is probably my next favorite track. Right away the guitars pick up and start shredding, so it's catchy right from the beginning, except it actually stays nice and enjoyable, unlike Father Time. The Day Time Stood Still is another great. It's also an instrumental, so it can be enjoyed by people who dislike Steve Plocica's singing. Again, plenty of spotlight for Tony Fredianelli and Chip Chrovian, their two guitarists.
The album seems to pick up from here, going from a side with more emphasis on speed to a side that's harder, more aggressive, and the overall atmosphere of it just seems.. . I guess you could say pessismistic. The Hour Glass starts off like you'd expect from any other Apocrypha song, but almost everything changes. The guitars get heavier, the bass lightens up and Mike Poe's drumming style changes. It's pretty much like this through H.G. Wells and The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. Mystic is different, though. For the most part it's slower and more emotional, which was obviously intended since it's the outro, yet it manages to keep it's catchy, riff-friendly style.
The only song I didn't like was the opener because I found it too repetitive. Everything else is decent to good, especially West World. I have to say I'm really disappointed that Apocrypha broke up and Tony Fredianelli moved on to form Third Eye Blind, a generic pop rock band that doesn't allow him to show off his true skill... but anyway, would I recommend getting this album, somehow? Definitely, especially considering it's available for free on Tony Fredianelli's site.