1) For Every Life (6:15)

2) Escape (5:24)

3) Broken (4:18)

4) Foreshadows (2:16)

5) Revelations (7:32)

6) What About (7:39)

7) Voice of Time (5:50)

8) Love, Lies and Treason (13:18)

9) Steal the Moment (4:20)


Dan Reed (vocals)

Ray Mantor (guitars)

Eric Ragno (keyboards)

Jim Turba (bass)

Greg Bissonette (drums)

VOX TEMPUS: "In the Eye of Time"       vox tempus   vox tempus entertainment

produced and mixed by Ray Mantor


review  by Marco "Norman Knight" Signore____   

The most promising prog metal band from the USA

At last the full length of this band is out. Featuring Greg Bissonette (drums), Eric Ragno (keyboards), Ray Mantor (guitars), Dan Reed (vocals) and Jim Turba (bass), Vox Tempus enter as one of the most promising prog metal bands from USA. As told in the promo preview, most of the band is already known to the public with the name of Equinox, making a really good progressive Rock, and Ragno and Bissonette complete the formation of Vox Tempus.

The album is very well played and mixed, the sounds are exceptionally clean and well recorded and the musicians clearly are of high quality. The result is an excellent and enjoyable album. The first track, “For Every Life”, has been already reviewed in my preview some time ago. A nice opener for this album.

Escape is the second song, introduced by an acid guitar and a powerful combo of bass and drums. The keyboards paints a good background of pads under the voice of Dan Reed, a progressive voice indeed, that is accompanied by the elegant riffs of the bass, as the keyboards play with drums and guitar. The choice of sound is good, and meets my complete ideas of this genre (it’s a personal opinion, however!). Ragno opens up with interesting synth arpeggio as the vocals double and the piano starts to emerge from the well balanced blend of instruments. Quite good is the insert of portamento synth just before the guitar solo with stopped notes that flows into a fast (but not too fast) solo.

We follow the tracks in the third song, called “Broken”, and the atmosphere relaxes as the notes of Ragno’s piano introduce a vocal line together with the acoustic guitar of Mantor. Almost a ballad in the North American prog style, where the voice of Reed give its most in expressivity. My compliments indeed! Excellent also the choice of Greg Bissonette with the soft and well arranged drum track.

Sweep and analog pads as liquid notes flow into our ears to start the next song, “Foreshadow”, and the intro of this song is completely left to the proficient keyboard player, that plays with songs only to introduce a tonal arpeggio of piano resemblant of Rick Wakeman’s performances of the Ninetees.

But suddenly the rhythm of guitar and bass advance from the dark, as the drums play in counter-tempo. Here the voice of Reed modulates from his deepest octave to the highest. The tone changes, we are in “Revelations” that also was contained in the promo, as also the following “What about”.

Nothing can be added to my comment about these two songs, for which I again direct you to my preview.

Voice of Time” starts with the ticking of a clock and an ominous bell as the guitar, bass and drums spin a strange tempo upon which the synths dance in an intricate arabesque of notes, and let in the guitar solo to begin this song with a duet of the instruments; one of the most prog-oriented songs of this very good CD, this instrumental track allow the whole band to come into the spotlight and show what they can actually do. Never boring, always interesting, this is the prog metal I like most. A sudden change and the melody becomes reminiscent of Genesis sounds, as the synth and guitar play as one on the piano, and then almost in a fusion section the bass goes in a solo which never becomes bad for the ears, creating an entwined carpet for the arpeggios of guitar first and of keyboards. And both of course end into a quite interesting drum pattern that melts into an unusual solo. A nice track indeed, that must be listened, and one of my favourites!

But we change register as the acoustic guitar leads us to the longest song in this album (13:38) called “Love, Lies and Treason”. Voice and guitar begin this song that suddenly changes tempo with the rim shots of the drum as the arpeggio becomes reminiscent of “Natural Science” from Rush. And then – as in that great song of the Canadian trio – this Love, Lies and Treasongrows in power and atmosphere, with an intelligent use of heaven-like staccato synths and the voice that plays again at its full extension and expressivity. Soft again the song becomes, and then the rhythm changes as we were moving into the tragic storm that everyone experienced when a love story ends. And this subject has been transformed into such expressive lyrics and sounds very few times, although it seems to be one of the most perused themes in music. This is one of the few times (as the terrific “Lost” by Vandergraaf Generator comes to my mind) that a love song is not banalized both in music and lyrics. Excellent is the touch of Bissonette on the hi hat under the arpeggio of Ragno on piano. And then the nervous guitar solo, a piece of style indeed! There, the tempo changes again, become skittish, rapid, quick in eights instead of fours, in a small bridge that again leads in a tempo in four with the vocal line walking on a strange rhythm, almost on a glacier of feelings, and the closing of the song draws near, as the chords open towards major tones and again the tempo halves. Good progressive effort this track.

Steal the Moment” is the last track of the album, another prog ballad made of voice and synths with the piano underlining the main chords (if you know songs like Dream Theater’s “Wait for Sleep” or Artension’s “You are my Heart” crossed with a slow song from the American pop music you can imagine this). A touch of genius is the rain and thunders that fade in as the synths fade out. And as “a heart of gold pumps within my metal skin…” I still like this kind of things. A sad closing for a good album, yet a beautiful piece if you are in the right mood.


Vox Tempus pump new blood

What can we tell about this album? Vox Tempus managed to pump new blood into the dying breed of prog-metal bands (I must be specific: prog-metal for me is Artension, Dream Theater, Fates Warning and so on, Symphony X not included). The experience of the band members is clear and shines illuminating of a new light the whole CD. This is the way prog metal should be played: almost essential, without too many meaningless changes (there only to create smoke in the eyes of the listeners), and pleasant to listen to.

Do not expect heavy riffs or raging double bass drums from this album. This was not the intention of Vox Tempus. In the Eye of Time is a great work that only suffers from the fact that prog metal albums have already been produced in the past, and if you want to be part of prog then you have to bend to its standards – hence it’s hard to produce something that is 100% original. But if you like the genre, then you will find this album among your favourites.

My compliments to the production, which must be mentioned as excellent. Extremely clean sounds, very good choice of effects and patches, pads and loops. The drums play a very important part, and I like arranged drums – they are an instrument, not just a metronome!

A last word: I was impressed enough when I listened to the promo. And as I listened for the first time to the full length, without looking at the tracklist, I immediately remembered the tracks I’ve heard in the promo, because Vox Tempus manage to create riffs that can be easily remembered. A great achievement for a band indeed!


In conclusion, I strongly suggest to the progsters out there to at least listen to Vox Tempus. Most possibly you will like it. But I also suggest to other metallers to listen to this album. Sometimes a change of pace is what you need. And this sounds like a very good change of pace!

rating: 8/10


Marco Signore
zum Seitenanfang top - inizio pagina


presentation|news|editorials|reviews|interviews|movies and DVD's|live reports|specials|

f**king bollox|tours|dates|suggestions|in store|upcoming releases|underground|

artwork|videoclips|MP3's|venues|cd's archive|links|contacts|gryphonbook

[I Despair]

© GryphonMetal.ch   2001-2004Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland               contacts