Hourglass - The Journey Into

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Fast Forward
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 75:14:00

This is the second disc for this band from the state of Utah, which has one of the most captivating stories I've ever read. There have been so many band members changes that I have no idea where to start or where it will end. It seems this is mainly Brick Williams' product as he is the only one who's been thru the thing since day one. Even if the disc has only been out for a few months, they have a new singer; but I strongly suggest you go to their site to learn more. On The Journey Into, we have Jonathan Berret on bass, John Dunston on drums, Chad Neth on vox, Jerry Stenquist on keys and the main man Brick Williams on guitars.

First thing that struck me upon discovering Hourglass is the length of the compositions. We have only 6 songs for over 75 minutes of music, so you can imagine there are lengthy pieces of music here. The title track locks in at 26 minutes with the shortest at close to 6 minutes. I've used the term progmetal lite to describe their sound because it's heavier than the typical prog rock type band but not by a landslide. I could compare them to the band World of Silence if some of you remember them but with more complexity and an added touch of Fates Warning. When I use that term (complexity), I mean the compositions are not necessarily wizardry and that is perfectly ok with me. What you'll hear is some smooth soloing, nice proggy moments, beautiful passages with excellent melodies and nice vocal lines. The vocalist has a nice midrange tone and doesn't have a lot of power but uses his voice wisely and never strains or forces things. The musicians are doing a nice job but no superhero stuff here, the music is the star with a good reason. All the musicians here do a great job without any superhero moves while the focus remains on the music. Some highlights are Vantage Point, Plains of Remembrance and the amazing ballad "The Circle Breaks."

My biggest problem with this offering is the production. I know it's an indie product and I shouldn't complain but it hinders my listening pleasure. It simply lacks some punch and the guitar tone is flat by my standards. Still, the voice is clear, the keys are very nice and the bass is clearly heard. Drumming is nicely done and sounds ok.

So, to sum it up, The Journey Into is a very enjoyable disc for the excellent melodies and good level of complexity to retain my attention. A big plus for the well crafted compositions but the next disc definitely needs a better production. I hope Mr. Williams keeps the band together for a future release that should amaze us all.

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Pawn (8:23) / Vantage Point (12:06) / Plains Of Remembrance: I. Onto The Plains - II. Change Beginning - III. For You (15:40) / The Circle Breaks (6:15) / Not My Time (5:49) / The Journey Into: I. The Barrier Falls - II. Recklessness - III. The Road Down - IV. Where I Stand In The Light - V. The Raging Storm (instrumental) - VI. Deliverance (26:53)

Jonathan Berrett - electric bass
John Dunston - drums and percussion
Chad Neth - the voice
Jerry Stenquist - keys
Brick Williams - guitars

This Lonely Time and Place (2000)
The Journey Into (2002)
Subsconcious (2004)
Oblivious To The Obvious (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Steve Fulham

Artist website: www.hourglassband.com/
Hits: 865
Language: english


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