Cryptic Vision - In A World (demo)

Year of Release: 2005
Label: n/a
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

Isn't it great when a progressive band actually progresses from album to album? This can be seen with bands like Izz, Little Atlas, and Frogg Caf?. Yet, I will have to admit, the differences between Cryptic Vision's debut album and what they have revealed to me in this demo demonstrates a night and day difference.

While their debut, Moments Of Clarity, may have been more straightforward and leaned less towards the progressive end of progressive rock, fans of the progressive will certainly appreciate their new approach.

First of all, In A World features the longest song I've heard from them to date and yet it manages to work as one cohesive piece. All the themes and transitions link together as if they are all part of the same genetic material. There is definitely a relationship between all the pieces that exist in this epic.

Moments Of Clarity, while a respectable effort, was the byproduct of numerous artists each throwing their two cents into the hat. The results were a little haphazard. In A World, however, is limited to the same five individuals -- Rick Duncan - drums, keyboards; Tim Keese - guitars, vocals; Todd Plant - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion; John Zahner - keyboards, vocals; and Sam Conable - bass, vocals, Taurus pedals.

As usual, less is more and it makes everything consistent. All the pieces easily interconnect as the music segues smoothly between its sections. You won't find yourself having moments that require reconciliation or any kind of clarification.

Instrumentally, this is much more symphonic in nature than the last. John Zahner's keyboards are a definite strength and are sure to be a high point on the next album. Rick Duncan, Todd Plant, the rest of the members for that matter, form a solid band. Like their heroes Spock's Beard, you will discover just about everyone involved sings and can play their respective instruments with skill.

If this is a demo that has been done, as Todd Plant says, manually in a rush to meet last-minute deadlines, then the full release will be something to soothe the sorest ear. This is quite good for a demo. Even if it were a finished product, it is still a show of quality. The production is crystal clear. The compositions are close-fitting. The musicianship is competently controlled. I am intrigued to see what could possibly be done to improve upon this mix. With material such as this, I am curious what other tracks they have in store for their fans as well.

To give you an idea of how it sounds, the opening is similar to the orchestrations that begin V's "At The End Of The Day." There is a repeated chorus and the music builds gradually. The song gets most inviting two-thirds of the way through. Here you find a segue with keyboards made to sound like trumpets, a mariachi sequence, and elements reminiscent of Dream Theater's more melodic moments. John Zahner has quite a range, from Keith Emerson all the way up to Jordan Rudess. Sam Conable's bass is athletic and toned. Tim Keese, who is the newest member of the band, is a great find, too. His guitars give us some of the song's best solos. Together the band shows us many different dimensions. They are Dream Theater without the metal and Spock's Beard without the pop. Put this all together and you have a lot of progressive potential.

From what I can tell, they have made many refinements in their band since the release of their debut album. Even in its infancy, the newly formed live band was tight and showed a lot of promise. I am definitely on-board with the path to their progression. I expect the next release to have real shock value.

Rating: 4.25/5 (expect the official release to earn an even higher score)

In A World: Overture - How It Began - The Purpose- All Is Well

Todd Plant ? vocals, acoustic guitar
Rick Duncan ? drums, percussion, keyboards
Tim Keese ? guitars, vocals
John Zahner ? keyboards, vocals
Sam Conable ? bass, vocals, Taurus pedals

Moments Of Clarity (2003)
In A World (single demo)
Live At RoSFest 2005 (2005)
In A World (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: June 14th 2005
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 1070
Language: english


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