Reindel - The Dominant Theme

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Fossil Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:38:00

Ohio's Reindel are a two piece made up of the brothers Reindel - Jim on guitars, bass, vocals, and percussion programming, and Tim on drums and percussion. Their sound is an amalgam of Rush, Dream Theater, and Alice In Chains. These latter two are very much true on "Ancient Mysteries," as I kept thinking of Alice In Chains' "Man In The Box" where the vocal arrangement is concerned and of Dream Theater with the chugging and churning guitars, swirling keys, heartpounding drums. The Rush inspiration is evident in quite a few places.

The Dominant Theme is mostly song oriented; though they do breakout into instrumental pieces, some in a near frenzy. None of the tracks exceeds much over four minutes, the majority in the three-minute range. But, as this is a concept album, perhaps it's better to look at them as small pieces of a larger whole. What is that concept? What is "the dominant theme"? Science fiction, they say, is that theme. In part, this is a "aliens have taken over" story, from the opening track "Extinction Level Event" to the closer "Timewarp Finale." In between we get "The Machine" which you'll either hate or like, or at least hate then like. Here Jim's vocals are quite digitized - hence the titular "machine."

You are drawn in with the first track "Extinction Level Event," which sets the theme and the style. Here you get a dash of Rush, some neo-proggy keys, churning guitar and bass, driving drums - and catchy chorus that seems right out of late 80's/early 90's American rock, even if that American rock comes via a Canadian source. (I'd be more general and say North American, but this is strictly a sound that generally comes from north of the Rio Grande).

I like the dreamy vocals on the metal cruncher "The Experiment," though the seemly digital drums that are used to supplement the analog drums leave me a little cold - which might mean they're working. Percolating keys underscore the very Rush-like "Vanity & Ego." Again here, we have a very nice vocal melody, which is very un-Rush like - meaning that Jim Reindel doesn't sound one bit like Geddy Lee.

"Back In The Day" contains a catchy, bouncy bass beat that'll take you back to the late 70s, early 80s, as well as some tasty guitar licks from Jim - sure we've heard it before, in some form or another. Dream Theater comparisons aside, their sound is firmly rooted in the 70s rock sound - they could have toured with Boston or Foreigner or - if seasoned with a bit of 90s grunge-metal. Here and there you'll hear a bit of a Queensryche influence, too. For a change of pace we get "Dreams To Nightmares" which is a brief (40 seconds) atmospheric keyboard piece (piano, it sounds like), followed up with the intro to the dramatic "Samplescore" which lasts a far too short 1-minute.

You can throw a little Blue ?yster C?lt in there, too, around track 7, "Zebulon." "Timewarp Finale" is the sound of musicians out of control, where it is one minute Marillion-esque (keyboard intro), one minute guitar rock, one minute a heavily percussive piece, to 80s Rush-like for the conclusion, in between stuff I didn't describe, all in a mere 3 minutes.

Overall, I really am enjoying listening to this, and recommend you check them out for yourself.

Extinction Level Event (4:11) / The Machine (3:21) / The Experiment (3:43) / Vanity & Ego (3:48) / Ancient Mysteries (3:53) / Panic In Sector Seven (2:31) / Zebulon (3:53) / Plight Of The Red Planet (3:42) / Even Though (3:06) / Back In The Day (3:23) / Dreams To Nightmares (0:40) / Pressure (2:17) / Feed The Fire (2:50) / Samplescore (1:00) / Timewarp Finale (3:00)

Tim Reindel - drums and percussion
Jim Reindel - guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, percussion programming

The Dominant Theme (2000)
Mere Mortals (2001)
Mind Probe (2001)
Riffed To Shreds
The Christmas Rush

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 865
Language: english


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