Vox Tempus - In The Eye Of Time

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Progman Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

There are few times in the life of a music lover that an album completely connects with your thoughts, emotions and your inner being. I can count on one hand the times that?s happened to me, and two of those were Dream Theater - Images and Words and Queensrÿche's Mindcrime. It's so rare when the music and the lyrics fit perfectly in such a cohesive manner that you?re afraid to hit the skip button, and those are the moments we, as progressive and metal lovers, live for. Vox Tempus, a melodic progressive band from the US, has released such an album. In The Eye Of Time is a jaw-dropping example of a band that has mastered the ability to not only fuse the 70?s and 80?s with modern prog rock, but to perfectly balance melody and complexity bridging the listening gap. While remaining faithful to their progressive roots, the members of Vox Tempus have added a modern edge to their sound to form what?s best described as a combination of Dream Theater and Styx. By combining the melodic with complexity, the dark inner self with the grandiose and metal with a sense of the dramatic, Vox Tempus have found a magic combination.

There are no obligatory long intros to begin this album, just in-your-face guitar and keys on the first track, "For Every Life." This is song written for and inspired by a long-time friend of the band, Great White guitarist Ty Longley, who died tragically while trying to help others in the Rhode Island nightclub fire. The lyrics take on a completely different context knowing that fact. This song is also indicative of a band who, rather than write a depressing song for their friend, chose to write one of hope and tribute in his honor. The sound on this opener is bold, bright and crystal clear. Rather than copy most prog rock band?s sound by using a Hammond Organ, guitarist Ray Mantor and keyboardist Eric Ragno chose to break from tradition and use crunchy, multi layered guitars and a modern, almost spacey keyboard sound. The resulting nine songs on the album are rich and full of auditory depth.

While the music and the musicians are equally impressive, the vocals give this band a high dimension of both clarity and class. Dan Reed absolutely slays on this album while channeling some of the best singers in old-school progressive rock such as Dennis DeYoung and John Wetton. The lyrics themselves are outstanding, but with Dan singing them with such a conviction, with such feeling, it takes the words to a level few bands can achieve. His vocal range is just as impressive as the rest of the band as he reaches into the stratosphere and into his depths equally with almost angelic precision. Not a single note is strained and not a single note is wasted. His talents shine on both the hard-edged, angrier songs and the haunting piano ballad.

The band also added a touch of class by enlisting the talents of drumming legend Greg Bissonette. His fills and subtle cymbal work helps to build the framework to let these guys do their thing. Bassist Jim Turba rounds out the rhythm section and has a huge bottom end on this album and comes through on every song. Most independent or first-time releases tend to lack in the bass department, a mistake these guys definitely avoided here.

The bottom line here is Progman Records has found themselves a pure gem of a band. In The Eye Of Time is an album that will appeal to a wide audience and will satisfy even casual progressive listeners. Their mosaic of musical styles and use of introspective, optimistic and sometimes melancholy lyrics will draw everyone into their musical world. This album is everything I look for or could want in music. Any music that can stimulate my emotions and imagination and stir previously dormant feelings is truly special and will have a cherished place among my collection. Whether they stand up to my all-time classics is just that, a matter of time, but for the moment, they are in very, very good company.

Similar bands: Dream Theater, Styx

[This review originally appeared September 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

For Every Life / Escape / Broken / Foreshadows / Revelations / What About / Voice Of Time / Love, Lies and Treason / Steal The Moment

Ray Mantor - guitars
Eric Ragno - keyboards
Dan Reed - vocals
Jim Turba - bass
Gregg Bissonette - drums

Vox Tempus (demo ep) (2004)
In The Eye Of Time (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Scott Pierce
Artist website: www.vox-tempus.com
Hits: 870
Language: english


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