For every Life
TEMPUS: 3-track demo 2004
review by Marco "Norman Knight" Signore____
Greg Bissonette (drums), Eric Ragno (keyboards), Ray Mantor (guitars),
Dan Reed (vocals) and Jim Turba (bass), the Vox Tempus are about to
release their first album, titled “In the eye of time”. Actually,
most of the band is already known to the public with the name of
Equinox, making a really good Progressive Rock. The add on of Eric Ragno
on keyboards created this project, called in fact Vox Tempus.
three tracks featured on this promo give good hopes for the forthcoming
album. The first track, “For Every Life”, is dedicated to
their lost friend Ty Longley (Great White), and is characterized by
splendid keyboards arrangements on which the vocals of Reed (very
personal and harmonic) embroider a scenery for the drums of Bissonette
and the bass of Turba; all is well kept together by the very good guitar
of Mantor. This song has a nice feeling of the good Old Hard Rock
of the 80s.
But the scene changes strongly as we move to Revelations. This second song is much more Progressive-oriented, with guitars a bit more aggressive, and the vocals in some tracts resembling the harmonic lines of Kotipelto (but Reed doesn’t need to go on falsetto to obtain very good melodies). The main riff of Revelations is quite strange, typically Progressive in its atmosphere, but the refrain becomes again more 80s-oriented. And then the tempo changes to a mid-tempo with keyboards notes, and a spoken vocal line, with a great job of bass and drum, leads us to the final section of the song, again cadenced and pleasant to the ear.
What About is the third and final piece of this promo. The beginning of the song is extremely Prog-Metal oriented, remembering the early works of Dream Theater. The main difference is the voice, that has more personality and power. The minor chords of keyboards form a continuous basis upon which the nervous tempo of the other instruments is built, becoming unison in the bridge and chorus. Once again the sonorities are well chosen and nothing is left to chance. The song becomes a crescendo of power as the drums of Bissonette invite the keyboards of Ragno in a midtempo solo with a stout square lead (reminiscent of the old Moog synths) that gives way to a guitar rhythmic dissolving into a piano arpeggio with a single violin note in the background, in the best melodic hard rock tradition. Then the song again becomes pure Prog Metal with synth and guitar arpeggio solo's. A peculiar part with double voices and tempo changes marks the final section of the song with the voice of Reed again in good evidence.
promo has only one dark spot: the songs are not terribly original in the
composition. They strongly resemble the melodic hard rock of the ‘80s
and the prog metal of the first ‘90s. Nonetheless, they are a blessing
indeed in the prog/melodic metal scene, that is now “involving” (and
not evolving anymore) into more or less “hard copies” of the leading
bands – putting technical abilities over melody, ideas and
the arranging work in this promo is very well cured and the cleanness of
sound and technical execution is impeccable. And while not
terribly original, the songs are easy to follow – although articulated
enough, and immediate for any listener.
If the forthcoming album of the Vox Tempus maintains the premises heard in this promo, then I think that it will be among the best productions of this year.
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