Archetype - Hands Of Time

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Intromental Management
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 22:15:00

This is the very first official Mini CD by this band from Ohio, though they also have a four-song demo CD, titled Archetype. The band was formed in 1997 by guitarist/ composer/lyricist Chris Matyus. In spite of Archetype being Americans, Hands of Time was released in Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark).

"Visionary:" The band describes their music as "Melodic Progressive Metal: complex, dynamic, and powerful." Already, after the listening to this track, I thought these guys use the word "melodic" for nothing. I remember, the majority of neo prog metal (and also just pseudo prog metal) bands are trying to describe their style exactly with this word. "Visionary" shows strong, really dynamic and powerful progressive metal, but I didn't notice any commercial "melodic" elements here. Guitar is all over the track, constantly creating lots of varied arrangements. Excellent work of rhythm-section and a strong voice of Chyle Vagner add here some openly necessary colours to paint a vivid picture of dynamic Classic Progressive Hard Rock / Heavy Metal, with a moderate level of complexity, though.

"Dissension's Wake:" Together with the title song, the most complex and interesting song on the album. The same total domination of guitars in [the] arrangement shows the band trying to create a work with a structurally unified musical conception, their own original music, which is a good factor. This composition contains a number of very diverse changes of moods and tempos and effective arrangements made up of original masterful solos and interplay on the part of lead guitar(s). On Hands of Time I especially like the moments when the lead guitar sounds like cello or... like a wasp.

"Arisen." Stylistically [this] fully corresponds to the overall musical conception of the album. Exceptionally varied guitar arrangements and solos, resting on a solid basement of the rhythm-section and a strong diverse singing (though, sometimes Chyle Vagner sounds not quite unlike Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden).

"Hands of Time." Probably the most "epic" and diverse (read "progressive") song on the album. Endless guitar themes and arrangements are incredibly tasteful; changes of moods and tempos come in when you don't expect. And although structure-wise this album looks a bit too smooth, "Hands of Time" proves that the band have a huge compositional potential.

Summary: On the whole, Hands of Time sounds much better than a bunch of other already famous bands like Saviour Machine, Elegy, and even Symphony X, who really play "Melodic Progressive Metal." The hard edged, sometimes apparently heavy metal structures of Archetype, raised to the power by their moderate progressivity and original guitar arrangements, will be welcomed by a younger prog-audience, without doubt.


Visionary (6:56) / Dissension's Wake (5:33) / Arisen (5:04) / Hands Of Time (4:31)

Chris Matyus - guitars
Jamie Still - bass
Keith Zeigler - drums
Chyle Vagner - vocals

Archetype (demo) (1998)
Hands Of Time (1999)
Dawning (2002/2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: January 1st 2000
Reviewer: Vitaly Menshikov

Artist website:
Hits: 940
Language: english


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