Time Machine - Reviviscence (Liber Secundus)

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR3023
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:44:00

In the current world of progressive metal, the debate continues over which bands are truly progressive, what the definition of progressive metal means, and which bands are changing their style / sound to accommodate the trends and masses. While all these debates become the focus instead of the music, Time Machine continues to do what they do best; and that is to release another quality, timeless, progressive metal disc. For the past 10 years, Time Machine has been the essential prog metal band that has stayed true to its roots, has not veered off into other areas of sound and style, and has continued to release yet another disc that does not clone itself, nor give hint in any way that the band has plans to change anytime soon.

Their last release, and one of their best, EVIL, showed that the band can and still does come up with new and fresh ideas in progressive metal. Having to somehow equal or top that masterpiece comes the release of Reviviscence. One could sit around for days and ponder the meaning behind the title, but I personally see it in a couple of ways. The first theory is that it implies a new and refreshed lifestyle. Given the dark, depressed qualities of the lyrics which pretty much define our current lifestyle and state of affairs, the theme implies a hope, a resurgence, and a new vision for a life that seems to be going downhill quickly as we know it today. The second, a musical metaphor for the current state of progressive metal, which seems doomed at times, vivacious at others, and downright stagnant at other times. Time Machine seeks to do away with any notion that the latter exists period.

Not willing to ride their previous works as a basis for success, Time Machine once again sets out to create a progressive metal disc that will stimulate the senses, keep the listener enthralled with melodies, yet maintain some sense of complexity, and generally thrill fans with new and exciting ideas. Of course, the band has once again changed lineups, but one would never know given the current sound and style has remained virtually unchanged throughout many lineup changes with just about every disc that has been released. This time out, mainstay member Lorenzo Deho has made some more changes to the lineup, adding in some "guest" musicians here and there, changed vocalists once again, and somehow has managed to maintain the unmistakable sound of Time Machine.

The band now has sought to take previous elements of the melodic Eternity Ends, mix them up in a blender with the epic, dramatic flair of Evil, and then toss in the ever-present religious vibes and religious themes of every Time Machine disc, and the result is now Reviviscence. The sound has become even more dramatic than usual, with guitars always leading the way, yet this time there are some epic keyboard sounds to accent the music giving it a much bigger sound than ever. The music is also some of the heaviest music that the band has created to date, with the songs "The Calling" and "Seeds Of Revolution" coming to mind and ears instantly. Still maintaining their melodic sense about them, the band has dropped the sometimes speedy sound of Evil in favor of a more complex style. The opening track "Rotten Souls" is the predominant and obligatory speed track on the disc, along with "Revelation" towards the end, and the rest are periodically shared between mid-tempo and somewhat complex passages. In between songs are some soft acoustic passages from keyboards and guitar, and then segues right back into the next epic track. No song sounds the same as the previous song, no song follows a certain pattern, and each song is specifically tailored to meet the many requirements of the picky progressive metal listener. The always present religious vibe is apparent as well, given songs like "Tears of Jerusalem," "Burning Crosses," and "Angel Lucifer." Time Machine has always incorporated religious themes into their music, and Reviviscence is no exception. I hate to compare Time Machine discs to each other, but in essence, Reviviscence is really Evil to the next power and in the next generation of Time Machine standards.

New vocalist Marco Sivo is a dead ringer for Pino Tozzi, yet with a more aggressive and higher range. I had to specifically ask if this was Pino or not before being officially notified of the change in singers. Marco fits in perfectly with the Time Machine sound, as all singers have in the past. He has that soft, Italian, sometimes aggressive style that most Time Machine singers have had, and I would have to say that he has a better range than Pino, but has a similar tone to Pino as well. So it's easy to say that if you liked Pino, you will like Marco hands down.

The production is similar in style to Evil as well. Once again Lorenzo takes over the sound dept on this disc, and this could be the best sounding Time Machine disc yet. It picks up where Evil left off, with the huge, epic sounds that exemplify Time Machine as of late. Most notably, the drums are the biggest sounds of the band to date. Huge, open air, boomy, and loud are some of the words I'd use to describe it. Not being too privy to techniques, I'd say that the drums are triggered to produce such a monstrous sound, yet it is this particular sound that I'm starting to associate with Time Machine. No part of their sound or style is left to the imagination. When Lorenzo Deho does something, he does it big as evidenced by this huge sound. Guitars are a bit back in the mix, as most Time Machine discs are recorded. I'm guessing that Lorenzo wants the vocals and epic sounds of the entire band heard and not one instrument singled out as the main contributor to the sound. With the amount of musicians and guest musicians on this disc, it's easy to hear why this would be. Keyboards are kept to a minimum this time out, yet used totally for ambient and atmospheric purposes. The keyboards give the disc that huge, epic-like flavor that makes Time Machine's music sound bigger than life. Vocals are recorded about where they usually are, although this time, I am able to hear more of Marco than previous singers, and I'm once again guessing that it's because of his aggressive style and power that allows him to shine forefront.

Time Machine remains the true, unchanging heroes of progressive metal. They not only remain Italy's premier progressive metal band, but they etch themselves right into the progressive metal hall of fame with Reviviscence. Time Machine exemplifies the true nature and definition of what progressive metal means; the ever-changing themes and attitudes, yet the unchanging sounds and signature styles of a band so dedicated to the genre as not to let the identity and heart die. While progressive metal bands continually seek to find that niche and trend that they "might" fit in with, Time Machine continues to define the very core of the genre, and with it, have attempted to pump the lifeblood of this wonderful music back into our hearts. For that reason alone, Reviviscence is essential.

Obscurity Within / Rotten Souls / Reviviscence / Sator / Angel Lucifer / Burning Crosses / Grains of Sand / Alhambra / Tears of Jerusalem / The Calling / Seeds of Revolution / Revelation / *Signs

Marco Sivo - vocals
Gianluca Ferro - guitars, keyboards, programming
Gianluca Galli - guitars
Lorenzo Deho - bass, keyboards, programming
Sigfrido Percich - drums, programming

Project: Time Scanning (1993)
Dungeons of the Vatican (1994) (Japanese ep)
Act II: Galileo (1995)
Shades Of Time (1997) (ep)
Secret Oceans Part I (1998) (ep)
Eternity Ends (1998)
Secret Oceans Part 2 (1998) (ep)
Hidden Secrets (2000)
Aliger Daemon (2001) (ep)
Evil (2001)
Reviviscence (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: July 25th 2004
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.timemachine.cjb.net
Hits: 1460
Language: english


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