F5 - Dawn Of A New Age

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:14:00

A few years ago, I got my hands on a disc called Eye of the Storm. The project was the creation of guitarist Chris Rifkin, who sought to unite the progressive sound with a combination of techno instruments and a New Age sound. He threw in a vocalist who sounded a lot like Geoff Tate, and the result was definitely something different in the realm of progressive music. Not many people were able to listen to this disc, much less find it, and it has become somewhat of a hunted disc.

A few years later Chris has returned with a new project called F5, and this time has replaced his male singer with a female singer. Her name is Leann Serao, and she has a somewhat pop rock style voice, with a sweet melodic croon. She has written most, if not all of the lyrics on the disc, while Chris has played and programmed most of the other instruments on the disc, except for some bass parts here and there played by other musicians.

The disc is a combination of techno dance music, combined with swirling New Age synthesizers, crooning melodic pop style vocals, with a dose of crunchy guitars all injected with progressive elements. It does make for quite an unusual, although interesting piece of music. Without experiencing the music, most prog heads will dismiss it based on the words "techno" or "new age" placed in this review, and maybe rightly so. There is no denying that the different combinations of music and styles make for a unique listening experience, and those looking for that something "different" should at least make an effort to check this one out and make the judgement for yourself. In all honesty, it probably won't appeal to metal heads, but it will appeal to those looking to spice up their progressive music life.

The production is stellar -- however, if you are not into programmed instruments, drum machines, sound effects, swirling synths, and some techno-style music, this will definitely not be your cup of tea. All instruments come out of your system with a crystal clean sound??and the vocals are as equally produced, with an added eeriness to Leann's voice making this a super sounding disc.

Overall, those of you who use the word "progressive" as an attitude more than describing a genre should check this one out just to hear that someone out there is doing something different in the music world. Those of you who use the word "progressive" as a word that describes a genre and a style of music and are committed to the metal or rock specifications that make the genre special will want to avoid this one. There is no denying that this is a different style of music than we are used to, or anyone for that matter. Hats off to Chris Rifkin for taking the chance, and he does this extremely well for a newborn, hybrid style of what we call progressive music. The disc is well played, sounds great, contains haunting / captivating vocals, and still contains that beloved guitar crunch we all know and love. It definitely fits into the progressive music genre, and if this hybrid of music sounds at all intriguing to you, it's well worth checking out.

[Note: not to be confused with the more recent Dave Ellefson project also called F5, who released A Drug For All Seasons in 2005 -ed.

Dawn Of A New Age (Chapter 1) (6:43) / You Don't Know Me (5:15) / Inspired Kingdom (6:00) / Silence (7:21) / Come Into The Light (3:48) / It's All In Your Mind (5:47) / The Coming (4:34) / Eye Of The Storm (9:44) / New Millennium (Chapter 2) (3:01) / You Don't Know Me (Radio Edit) (5:00)

Chris Rifkin - guitars, keyboards, synths and programming
Leann Serao - vocals
Mickey James - 5-string fretless bass
Mike Piccolomini - bass
Scott Mosher - bass & outro solo (8)
Rowland Expeefifty - drums and percussion

Dawn Of A New Age (2000)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: May 15th 2001
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 953
Language: english


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