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Tad Morose - Sender of Thoughts
Tea For Two - Twisted
Tea In The Sahara - Boomerang
Tears of Anger - In The Shadow
Tears of Anger - Still Alive
Terra Rosa - Live...Final Class Day
Terrana, Mike - Man of The World
The Gathering - Mandylion
Theatre of Tragedy - Aegis
Thessera - Fooled Eyes
Threshold - Hypothetical
Threshold - Critical Mass
Time Machine - ActII: Galileo
Time Machine - Eternity End
Time Machine - Evil
To-Mera - Transcendental
Tomorrow's Eve - The Tower (e.p.)
Tomorrow's Eve - The Unexpected World
Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror of Creation II: Genesis II
Top Left Corner - Nowhere
Torman Maxt - The Foolishness of God
Transient - Demo 2004 (CDR)
Transient - The Circle
Treasure Land - Question
Trespass - Morning Lights
Triangle - Square The Circle
Tribal Tech - Rocket Science
Twinspirits - The Music That Will Heal The World
Twisted Motivations - Red Shift


Tad Morose - Sendor Of Thoughts
Black Mark/Century Media

Usually, I often heard the rumor of Tad Morose is that they are in the vein of Savatage-style dramatic powerful metal. After I checked out the sounds of Tad Morose, their 2nd offering reminds me of Black Sabbath - Tyr album and Headcross album with melodic powerful heavy rock plus some dose of keyboards. However, its rumour of their sounds akin to Savatage makes sence to me. Basically, their music stands a cross between Mogana Lefay and Black Sabbath in 80s era with a bit of Savatage. I would not tend to categorize them as Prog Metal, because I do not want to confuse others with Dream Theater style bands. Nothing evident as such style, rather they are in the vein of melodic doom powerful metal band. Melodic Metal and Powerful Metal fans will love this band.

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Tea For Two - Twisted
QuiXote Music
(2006)

This is my first attempt to check out the music of a unique German neo-prog's third album. As long as I look through German distributer's latest catalog, QuiXote music has their own policy to release fantastic albums like Alias Eye and Poor Genetic Materials. I had no idea about what German group Tear For Two sound like, but what they perform on this cd sounds really interesting and quite refreshing. Their latest album 'Twisted' features three bombastic neo-prog rock tracks and some folk/trad influenced songs that sound similar to Jethro Tull and Tempest. In the beginning of my listening experience, I thought these musicians are mainly playing for acoustic and traditional music without any prog influence. However, when the second track gets started, I come to realize that their original roots are probably progressive rock and neo-prog. While listening to this cd, Tea For Two shows nice musicianship on keyboard parts and guitar sections in particular. Even though the core members of this group are actually vocallist/keyboardist/guitar player, the guest musicians of Tea For Two contribute very nice instrumental works. Esp., listening to alternative and trad-style tunes is quite fun and very enjoyable. There is no "show-off" kind of technical performance. Rather, they concentrate on creating music-oriented compositions. Actually, they sound very accessible and easy to enjoy. That's what they are very strong at. My favorite tracks are symphonic and dramatic neo-prog tracks like "Soundscape", "My Own Way", and "Come What May". Overall, I am impressed with the cd of Twisted. Please do not underestimate this talented gruop. They have been working quite long, already as a live act. Thanks for making a quite enjoyable and heart-warming prog music. Nicely done! Wow, QuiXote Music proves that they are having good prog rosters besides Alias Eye.
[website: http://www.teafortwo.de/]

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Tea In The Sahara - Boomerang
Music Is Intelligence/WMMS
(1996)

I guess they are from Germany. TEA IN THE SAHARA does play really fine intricate neo-prog rock music. They inject some complexities and exciting moments from their ensemble works. Perhaps, this band appeals to ENCHANT and EVERON fans. Before I listened to this cd, I had no idea what they sounds like. After listening to a whole thing, Boomerang cd is quite enjoyable. I will search their previous album next time. Enjoyable neo-prog band with some nice moments. Recommended for the fans of neo-prog rock.

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Tears of Anger - In The Shadow
Lion Music
(2006)

Swedish metal group, Tears of Anger returns with superbly powerful new album called In The Shadow. I could say, or you could say that Tears of Anger is a super group featuring a Sweden's secret weapon Bjorn Jansson (vocals) and a versatile guitar player Benny Jansson (guitars) with the help of extra-ordinary Mind's Eye's rhythm section, such as Daniel Flores (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass). Once again, their second album hit me so hard sonically like their first one. Simply, every listener experiencing this new album would be blown away. Stylistically, this album contains bone-crunching heavy prog metal ensembles with lava-like hot burning powerful vocals courtesy of Bjorn Jansson. The guitar performance of Benny Jansson is definately top-notch on the new album once again. The rhythm section of Tears of Anger contributes creating high energy and unreal bombasts, if you aske me. I think the album of In The Shadow feature both fast and speedly oriented killer tunes and mid-oriented groovy tracks to entertain listeners who are looking for crunchy and heavier prog power metal. From the beginning to the end, the music of new album grabs you tightly, and you could experience twisting and turning emotional jet-coaster ride. There always have great energy and powerful driving force from Tears of Anger's passionate ensembles. Overall, Tears of Anger once again proved that their music would be able to fascinate all melodic metal and bombastic prog metal fans. Additionally, I am quite impressed with the unison lines/dual solos of keyboards and guitars. I wonder who is playing keyboard solos that sound really fantastic and compliment guitar sections. If you are into energetic prog metal bands like Ark and Beyond Twilight, In The Shadow can not be passed to someone else. Another great new album from Tears of Anger is highly recommended to all metal fans. :-)

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Tears of Anger - Still Alive
Lion Music
(2004)

Swedish guitar player, Benny Jansson's project with his brother, Bjorn Jansson (vocal). In addition, it is interesting to know that Daniel Flores (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass) from Mind's Eye join this force. So far, I enjoyed their sound production and performance quite a lot. It is hard to point out what they sound like. It is very accessible and melodic metal with lots of dynamic ensemble and proggy metal parts. Very punchy and having lots of hooks. As usual, Swedish bands perform really tight and very solid with nice production. Maybe, Vanishing Point meets Mind's Eye. This is my second time to listen to Benny Janson's guitar works. I think his guitar playing on Still Alive is very shining than his guitar playing on THE JOHANSSON BROTHERS. Well, of course, on the cd of Johansson Brothers mostly features Jens Johansson's synth and keyboard works most of the time, so I wanted to hear Benny's guitar more at that time. Each track of Still Alive features fluid and technical guitar playing by Benny Jansson himself. Tears of Anger's music appeals to both melodic prog metal fans and also melodic hard rock/metal/AOR fans in general I hope. But please listen carefully on every musician on the music of Tears of Anger. When you listen to Still Alive, you would most tunes are quite catchy and straight-foward. However, there are several intricate and complex parts in every track, so definately quality and proficient musicians are required to pull off such important instrumental sections besides Brjon Jansson's energetic vocal performance. Lots of hookliness and immediate feeling throughout the album of Still Alive. There is no credit about keyboard parts, so I wonder who take roles on synth and keyboard orchestration. Probably, I assume this keyboard and orchestration sections have done by Benny Jansson or Daniel Flores. Man, I like the keyboard arrangements very much on Still Alive, because it has lush and bombastic atmospheres. With each listen, Still Alive keep growing on me. It is really enjoyable melodic metal album with lots of nice instrumental parts, and dynamic rhythm sections driven by excellent musicians like Daniel Flores and Johan Niemann. Highly recommended for melodic metal fans and prog metal fans who enjoy catchy and hook-laden music. Again, another Swedish band proves that there has been no shortage of great talents and excellent musicians in Sweden. Maybe, we can think of this question..."What kind of water are Swedish people drinking?" :-) Sweden might have some kind of superior system creating great artists and musicians, or talent pools.

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Terra Rosa - Live...Final Class Day
Mandrake Root
(1991)

Well, probably Japanese domestic hard rock/metal group Terra Rosa has not been relatively known outside Japan. Simply put, this group's main influence comes from Deep Purple/Rainbow with some British hard rock music. If you listen to this group closely, you'll find some fine Melodic Japanese Metal/Hard Rock sounds. Indeed, it's full-blown 80s melodic power metal sounds. However, I enjoy they play lots of organ/keyboards/synth sounds with American U.S. metal guitar play and European hard rock/metal influences. Somewhat, what they are doing is a bit similar to Royal Hunt, Artension, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but the approach of Terra Rosa is not very technical as some other neo-classical or authentic melodic metal group do. They sounds like classic Rainbow music would become more edgier and late 80s sounding (hard to imagine?). What this band sounds a bit unique is a female lead vocalist who tries to sing a bit like Ronnie James Dio on some parts. Maybe, such description reminds you of female metal group Show-Ya. Terra Rosa is one of few quality keyboard/guitar oriented groups like Show-Ya and Vow Wow, so it was quite sad to see them gone. To me, the group's focal point is the keyboard player's works and arrangements on the songs. This keyboard player is not like keyboard-hero type musician, but rather his performance sounds a bit closer Deep Puprle's Jon Lord and Uriah Heep's Ken Hensely. One of most melodic Japanese metal groups that perform solid and relatively catchier songs with hard rocking female vocals. I believe there are still enthusiastic Terra Rosa fans in my country. I hope they come back in Japanese metal scene someday. If you like Japanese Hard Rock/Metal a lot, give a try on Terra Rosa.

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Terrana, Mike - Man of The World
Lion Music
(2005)

Man of The World is Mike Terrana's second solo release. Mike Terrana has been known as a great drummer and his work with Tony MacAlpine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Artension, and Rageto name just a few. This second album features incredible virtuoso musicians such as Edwin Dare's bassist Kevin Chown, Voodoo Taboo's fellow musician Cyril Achard (guitar) and German metaller, Rage's Victor Smolski (guitar). Stylistically, Mike Terrana's been into instrumental rock with the elements of hard fusion I believe. Man of The World's tracks are quite varied: such as, technical rock, prog metal, jazz/fusion, and drum-oriented instrumentals. Actually, I have been very intrigued with his music on Man of The world, since I got this cd. You can not underestimate his incredible drum skills with his subtle expressions of cymbal usage. In particular, the tracks featuring Cyrisl Achard are all fantastic, and having a potential to draw instrumental music fans. His new album, on the other hand, includes some live materials that show his energetic performance and interactive situation between him and fans. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this one very much. Well-done works. Highly recommended for fans of instrumental rock and hard fusion.

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The Gathering - Mandylion
Century Media
(1996)

Netherland based melodic and emotional doom metal band, The Gathering has been really acknowledged and praised by many gothic metal and melodic doom metal fans. Mandylion is one of most popular albums they have ever made among their fans. Probably, The Gathering is one of most innovative female fronted bands out there. The Gathering is a quite unique band fusing melancholic and powerful doom sounds with etherial vocal performance of Anneke van Girsbergen and nice theatrical orchestrations. Besides such elements, atmospheric sounds created by keyboards build up background layers. If Black Sabbath plays melancholic flavored heavy rock with female vocals, then it would come out like what The Gathering plays on Mandylion. The tunes like "Eleanor" and "Strange Machine" are quite impressive and excellent. If you want to know about female vocal atmospheric music, Mandylion would be a master piece of melodic heavy doom/gothic metal fearturing Anneke's soaring vocal performance. This band is highly original and very innovative. Esp., "eleanor" is such a emotional tour de force. Highly Recommended.

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Theatre of Tragedy - Aegis
East West Records/Nuclear Blast
(1999)

On the Identity Four comilation album, I found some interesting new music which I had never heard of before. The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, and Theatre of Tragedy provided me very fresh air in the world of metal and heavy rock oriented music in late 90s. These bands are known as "Gothic Metal/Atmospheric Metal" genre among music fans, and the name of its category sometimes confuse many metal-oriented listeners. However, Gothic Metal/Atmospheric Metal are the genre definately opening the door to trackle metal and rock music with new ideas and keyboards in different, yet spicey moods to enhance the music quite interesting personally. Here is Theatre of Tragedy's Aegis album for the review this time. Even at first listen, I am very intrigued with their sounds that how they make music of atmospheres and gothic influences mesmerizing in slow to middium tempo. Sound production is amazingly crisp and gorgeous. Gothic keyboards with female voice of Liv are great tools to enhance this atmospheric laden world on Aegis. No wonder this band is very respected by many gothic and atmospheric music fans. In addition, they add fair amounts of heavieness and guitar riffs. Of course, their music is song-oriented, so neither really having flashy leads nor intricate ensembles we technical rock fans demand frequently. Aegis shows some kind of sadness and mesmerizing moments with steady tempo and rhythms. Quite essential gothic metal album.

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Thessera - Fooled Eyes
ProgRock Records
(2006)

Wow, I am quite impressed with the product of what young Brazillian prog metal group has made. If you never heard of them before, you had better give them a chance. So far, we have witnessed quality metal and prog rock groups from Brazil. Thessera is also from Brazil, and this group is performing quite strong prog metal music. Much kudos to ProgRock Records picking up and signing them as their roster. As a prog metal fan, I find a tremendous enjoyment from this entire album of 'Fooled Eyes'. It's incredible to hear that all songs featured here on this album have burning hot prog metal instrumentations and strong musicianship. What you expect from technical prog metal groups is packed nicely from the beginning to the end. There are lots of amusing moments and impressive sections from this Brazillian group. It's totally amazing to me. Quite excellent job they have done. Maybe, some people would complain about sound production a bit. But I do not care much about it. I would like to hear what they can bring next. Highly recommended for technical and bombastic prog metal fans.

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Threshold - Hypothetical
Inside Out
(2001)

Woa!!, simply I am stunned and excited even with a first spin of Threshold - Hypothetical. This is the album which usually satisfy my appetite completely. Melodic, Mesmerizing, Heavy, progressive and catchier elements packed in the one album in intelligent way. Definately, THRESHOLD has been striving for many years to keep progressive metal and prog metal flame alive with confidence in UK. I would dare to say that Hypothetical is their best works. Mostly, quality Prog Metal bands come from Germany, Sweden, Italy, and other European countries. We have hardly heard prestigeous UK Prog Metal bands in the scene except for Threshold and Balance Of Power, but we thank God that offer us great talent, such as Threshold. On Hypothetical, we find really enjoyable and amazing tunes, such as "Light And Space" (yes, rocking the house!!), "The Ravages Of Time" and other tunes. Oh my goodness, all tunes are highly regarded pretty nice and ear candies. Prog Metal fantatics' dream alive!! What can I say about this anything else??, buy this cd as soon as possible. If you do not afford buying this, do not hesitate ask your family to lend money from them. The more I listen to it, the more I am intrigued with the majestic and epic tunes on Threshold. Notably, two masterminds of Threshold, Richard West & Karl Groom knows how to cook the sounds within different elements, such as symphonic neo-prog sounds, heavier prog metal edge, twin raging yet energetig guitar flows, bombastic rhythmic driving forces, and heavy rock singing, laserbeam elegant synth leads, and efficient guitar leads. Highly recommended prog metal disc. Hypothetical is definately favorite disc among prog metal listerners. One of best 2001 cd contenders.

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Threshold - Critical Mass
Inside Out
(2002)

Cricial Mass is also nicely produced album. Nice guitar playings, colorful keyboard/synths sounds, and song-oriented catchy songs are packed. Critical Mass definately succeeds the brilliances of HYPOTHETICAL. Lots of odd-timing ensembles, and bombastic performance are displayed to entertain prog metal fans in general. Richard West's keyboard playings are really lush, and impressive to make a whole music deep and grand. Karl Groom's guitar leads are really powerful, and Johan's drummings are really solid and magnificent. They keep making really fantastic albums overall. Melodic and catchy with intricate prog metal instrumentation meld together cohesively. Definately, one of best long standing prog metal bands in entire history of prog community. There are not many U.K. well-known technical prog metal bands except for Threshold, so I would like to hear more about the bands like Threshold from U.K. Thank God that we have talented prog metal band, Threshold on the earth.

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Time Machine - ActII: Galileo
Academy Records/Lucretia International

ActII: Galileo album is Time Machine's monumental symphonic prog metal album. Most Italian Prog Metal bands are kind of doing technically challenging complex proggy metal music. In the case of Time Machine, they concentrate on making kind of symphonic-esque conceptual works on this album without leaning on complex ensembles. Totally, there are about 19 tracks, so some people might feel kind of being dragged. But their challenging spirits of making conceptual work about Galileo Galilei is really impressive. Esp., Folco Orlandini's singing is really expressive and moving. ActII tells Galileo's inner conflicts and sadness of his revolutional theory was totally teared apart as a heritec act by the Inquisition and high class people in the Church. Even though the dramatic approach was focused, there are a few highlight tunes which are really heavy and complex enough to entertain most prog metal fans. Overall, not quite busy ensemble you can find in most parts, but there exists some fine and complex parts on this album. Thus, I really enjoy this one quite a lot. Probably, I prefer Eternity Ends album better. But this one is Time Machine's monumental album to get known to the scene of Prog Metal.

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Time Machine - Eternity Ends
Lucretia Records International

Wonderful and fantastic prog metal pieces with melodic emphasis in the Italian's way. Etenity Ends is my favorite Time Machine album. Vocal melody lines are quite fascinating. Guitars are crunchy with less technical chops. Rhythm secsions keep playing solid and dynamically with some hard and some complex tricks and odd-time sections. Esp., the drummer's skills on this album are really tasty and enjoyable. Probably, this one is based on the story about early Christianity and Savior himself with their interpretation. Storylines and lyrics are flowing and very cohesive. Eternity Ends do not include much mind-boggling sections, but the effects and atmospheres of their music are quite elegant and quite interesting. Magnificent work. I enjoy keep listening to this album every time. Time Machine is always one of Italian prog metal front runners. Highly recommended.

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Time Machine - Evil
Lucretia Records International
(2001)

Something happening in the underground of Italy Metal scene out there. From the middle of 90s, Italian bands keep releasing highly regarded and quality music. If you investigate the history of Italian Rock, Metal, and Prog scene, Italy has not only offered PFM, Banco, and other symphonic rock bands, but also gave a birth to Black Jester, Evil Wings, Madsword, and such notable quality prog metal bands. As you see that ITALY is important country for people who love Prog Metal and Formula One Car Racing (just kidding!). Time Machine is one of important prog metal bands from Italian scene. In their long history, they have released several great music entertaining prog metal fans. Evil is their latest album which would have been considred best melodic prog metal album with symphonic and gothic choirs. My favorite track is Eyes Of Fire and some other from this album. Their latest album seems to draw the elements of their previous works, e.g., Eteniry Ends and Galileo II. In some parts, symphonic and melodi metal influences remind me in the vein of Angra. Of course, it does not mean that Time Machine mimick the sounds of Angra. Slightly, new music on Time Machine lean toward dramatic and symphonic direction mixing their trademark Time Machine prog metal heavy laden approaches. At first, I missed the voice of Falco, but new singer, Tito, has similar calibir of previous singer. Evil is getting popular album among long time Time Machine listeners. Amazingly, they keep steady to create good sounds constantly each time. Check out their latest album first if you are not familiar with Time Machine. Highly recommended for fans of melodic prog metal, and even for fans of symphonic metal a la Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Vision Divine and Labyrinth.

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To-Mera - Transcendental
Candlelight Records
(2006)

This U.K. based progressive gothic metal band at Headway Festival 2007 was one of my highlights I had seen. After seeing their performance at that time, I immediately purchased their debut full-length album from their merchandise section (thanks to the great service from Lee Barett). Probably, most prog metal pursuers have heard of them before, but I was not quite certain to check their music or not until I had a chance to see them live. It was indeed superb and incredible to have seen their live performance. Okay putting aside my impression about their live performance of Headway Festival, the music of 'Transcendental' is nothing short of greatness even in their first album. It's very interesting to see that this group is featuring a female lead singer Julie Kiss who used to be a Hungarian progressive gothic metal group Without Face. Due to her involvement of this group, the sounds of this band somewhat remind me of a greatness of Without Face that seems to be resurrected. On the other hand, To-Mera owns their special sounds that have both symphonic dark flavors and intricate prog metal. The instrumental works of this group is very intricate and quite complex, when they let loose in the interplay sections. In the nature of this band's music, most songs develp into dark and symphonic with complex prog metal sounds. Some people would descrive them as a cross between Opeth and Dream Theater, but I think it sounds more than that. I remember lots of attendants in Headway Festival praised their live performance and incredible musicianship like me. So far, they have achieved fantastic restults in their first album. We definitely look forward to hearing their upcoming new album. To-Mera is one of most talked progressive metal groups from U.K. nowadays. Of course, To-Mera's 'Transcendental' album is highly recommended.

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Tomorrow's Eve - The Tower (e.p.)
Lion Music
(2007)

Yeah, it's good to see that German prog metal group Tomorrow's Eve have been recently very active. The Tower is a kind of preview for their upcoming new album. Changing a few members and a vocalist since last album gives them a new life, and constantly they are working for their live gigs and supporting big acts nowadays. The Tower E.P. picks up what they left on Mirror of Creation II album. Two brand-new songs have a nice instrumentation and quite exciting to hear. On the other hand, a few more songs are self-coverd and newly arranged as acoustic version. Obviously, keyboard/synth leads are dominant and pleasant to hear to my musical tastes. Of course, they do not forget adding guitar crunch and bombastic ensemble. Anyway, this E.P. gives you a good hint of new album's musical direction. Definitely, the new album of Tomorrow's Eve is going to be a great one I hope.

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Tomorrow's Eve - The Unexpected World
B-Minds Records
(2000)

German prog metaller's first album contains some complex parts and dynamic ensemble. Most tunes are around 6 to 8 minutes long. The members of Tomorrow's Eve try to lay down solid and powerful prog metal atmospheres. I notice that keyboards seem to have been feartured more than guitar solos. Basically, their guitar parts are crunchy and heavy, but not many shredding solos that much. Vocal melody lines are emphasized with several intricate moments, but no so into mind-boggling sections. If you enjoy Vanden Plas and Dream Theater, this band would have surely something to offer for you, while listening.

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Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror of Creation II: Genesis II
Lion Music
(2006)

With each release, the melodic German prog metal group Tomorrow's Eve seemed to take a journey to settle down a stable label. Finally, Tomorrow's Eve found out enthusiastic prog metal/instrumental label Lion Music to sign and recently released a brand-new concept album, 'Mirror of Creation II'. If you are not familiar with Tomorrow's Eve, their second album (Mirror of Creation) is a prequel album dealing with genetic experiments, more precisely, the subject of human clone. When I encountered the Tomorrow's Eve's second album about a few years ago, I was totally floored and excited. Maybe, it's quite difficult to locate their second album nowadays, so I wish Lion Music would reissue 'Mirror of Creation Pt.1' someday. On the contrary, their latest and third release 'Mirror of Creation Pt.2' did not grab me instantly with a few listens. I have nothing to complain about their line-up change. Their new singer Martin LeMar is very different from the predecessor of Tomorrow's Eve, but I am getting used to his approach and singing style. In the beginning, I thought he might not have been fitting in the style of Tomorrow's Eve. However, it was my wrong assumption. Btw, his performance on Lalu is really fantastic. Nothing wrong with that, and it's perfect. Later on, 'Mirror of Creation Pt.2' gets better and grows on me. Esp., the second half of the cd has many great moments and the last track sounds really impressive. Nowadays, I think third album is also a really great winner for Tomorrow's Eve. Nevertheless, I think Mirror of Creation pt.1 is still better to my ears. I would guess that if you have been into Pt.1, then it might take time to absorb what this album presents. I think listening to both pt.1 and pt.2 of Mirror of Creation is the key to get the ideas and concepts unfolded on their music. Nowadays, I've been enjoying their latest album as well. Anyway, this is one of most talked about prog metal new release. Obviously, this is highly recommended for German melodic prog metal fans who enjoy blazing keyboard solos and complex instrumentation.

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Top Left Corner - Nowhere
WMMS

Well, Ok I realize that my view and comments on this album was kind of too critical last time. I come back to check out listening to this album a few more times. I had commented that "Oh well, unfortunately I could not find any exciting and enjoyable moments from this album" when I wrote comments previously last year. First of all, I would say sorry to Top Left Corner guys. After listening to this album closely, I find myself enjoying some songs on the first half of the cd and a few others on the other parts. They do good jobs on some kind of lite prog metal with neo-proggy things. However, a few other tracks on this album did not give me exciting and chilling moments at all. When I pick up some bits and pieces from guitar and keyboard playing, they are somewhat ok. Yes, indeed it was kind of hard to enjoy the cd at first moments. After keep listening to favorite tracks, this album starts getting growing on me slowly. I admit that I would not say the entire album is great, but they did their stuffs in their own efforts. I do not recommend all prog metal fans should listen to. On the other hand, I find some enjoyable moments.

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Torman Maxt - The Foolishness of God
Mars Hill Records
(2001)

Until I received this cd, I had not been familiar with U.S. neo-prog band, Torman Maxt. Torman Maxt seems to have been playing their own original music since early 90s. Uniquely, this band consists of three Massaro brothers (guitar, bass, and drum format). The Foolishness of God is Torman Maxt's second full-length album. In some places, they are reviewed as a progressive metal band. Well, it depends on what people listen to on their music of both first album and this latest album. In my case, The Foolishness of God hardly provides the impressions of complex/intricate progressive metal style music to my ears.  Rather, I would say their music that have some kind of similar vibes of King's X and Saigon Kick, due to Tony Massaro's vocal tones and delivery that are quite similar to the singers of Saigon Kick and Jane's Addition. In addition, they blend melodic hard rock sounds with heavier guitar driving parts that they play.

Although I have not had a chance to check out their first album yet, I find some listening enjoyment on The Foolishness of God. The Foolishness of God seems to be a concept album which is based on the man who struggles his belief and faith in complex modern society with ideas of Christian belief/faith from band members (I assume). Some people might have kind of difficulties to enjoy lyrical contents and messages of Christian belief, if you are not holding the faith of Christianity. I am kind of impressed with the message and concept on this album that represents the man who is struggling in modern day life, and how to deal with his faith against outside pressure and inside conflicts. Finally, the protagonist of this album reaches the anwer to receive the salvation through the words of God, even though some messages on the scriptures of Bible are utterly foolish to other people (that is the way I interpret in this music and concept). In any way, the theme and concept on The Foolishness of God seem to be well-thoughtfull based on Bible, esp., on New Testament. Personally, it could be related to Christian rock aspects. Perhaps, it might be good idea to read some Bible scriptures from some famous New Testamant chapters, such as First and Second Corinthians and Four Gospels if you realy want to get familiar with the story behind "The Foolishness of God". In their case, this album is their bold statement about the faith in difficult times.

Musically, they do not go over pretty complex ensemble. They seem to be good at playing staight-forward melodic rock tunes with some acoustic/clean parts. There are also a few other driving hard tunes that remind me of early days of Rush (esp., "City of Man" is my favorite track). Last modern rock epic opus, "The Foolishness of God" reveals the summary of what Christian believers mostly agee with, or appreciated with cohesive arrangements and musical contents. Still don't know why some people think of them progressive metal, even though I spun this cd more than several times. In any way, Torman Maxt combines several rock and melodic formats nicely to make their own message-filled music. Honestly, I took several spins to digest their music and message fully on The Foolishness of God at first. Later on, their music starts sinking in. It might take time to digest this music fully, so just relax and concentrate on their music if you have a chance to hear The Foolishness of God.

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Transient - Demo 2004 (CDR)
Independent Release
(2004)

Just recently, I've got the latest demo 2004 from Ex. Etheria's drummer Edward Faust. Demo 2004 contains two tracks. I think that Edward Faust's new project Transient's musical direction is somber and dark brooding prog metal sounds a kind of similar to Fates Warning, Evergrey, and Opeth. Even though the overall sounds of Trainsient are kind of dark and powerful, Transient's music contains melodic sensibilities and emotional roller-coaster ride with complexity of prog metal sounds. It's amazing to know that most instrumental parts played by Edward Faust (drummer) are cohesive and well-performed. The singer of Transient, Tom Engel, showcases melodic vocal lines with hookliness and skillful voicings. Indeed, it is powerful, and sometimes a bit doomy and somber. However, Transient has varied ingredients like powerfulness, hookliness, melancholic atmospheres, and complex twists and turns to make sounds fresh and original. Overall, the melody lines including vocals, guitars, and instruments have been locked well, and having haunting effects. Of course, the leader of Transient, Edward Faust's main profession is drumming, so his drumming works are really shining, and he is definately one of talented prog metal drummer out there. To me, the track called "What Lies Within" sounds really terrific especially, and definately recommend for fans of Fates Warning, Reading Zero, Vauxdvihl, and Evergrey. "The Circle" sounds also in the similar direction of "What Lies Within,", and this one sounds quite similar to the style of Reading Zero's Satellite Session album with heavier and immediate powerful metallic feelings. Even though there are only two tracks featured on Demo 2004, Transient have been one of promising prog metal acts in the future. I think that Transient should keep this musical direction to stretch out with a better sound productions. Edward Faust and his co. have been in the exactly right direction. Hopefully, Transient will come back in the scene of prog metal again, with better musical ideas and compositions. I believe Transient can do it, and they have potential to develop good ideas with new sparks. :-)

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Transient - The Circle
Independent Release
(2006)

Two years ago, I reviewed the Transient's 1st demo cd that sounds a unique powerfully driven gloomy and melancholic prog metal. Transient's leader Edward Faust (ex. Etheria's drummer) returns with his newest album, 'The Circle'. The musical direction and approach are very similar to the first demo cd. Again, Edward produced and made all materials by himself. In addition, the singer Tom Engel (of Alchemy X) also returns and helps to work with Edward to perform together. Tom's vocal performance is also very peculiar and powerful enough to express his emotions and passions entirely on this album. Since having departed from their groups and projects, I believe it seems to have been through really tough times to put all materials together for Edward and Tom. However, they made it complete for this album to the fans of all underground prog metal fans. Although I'd like to praise what they have been trying to achieve, one of my minor complaints about this full-length album is their production department. I am really sorry to say this, but if Transient want to get recognized in the scene of progressive metal and beyond underground metal scene or make progressions in the music, I highly recommend that Transient works with knowledgeable helpers and advisors including experienced musicians in the field of heavy rock/metal/progressive power metal. Okay, I'd better stop about minor complaints and suggestions, period. Let's move on to more positive side. One thing that I am really glad to hear is that they try to make their own original and unique sounds. More precisely put, they know how to play gloomy and brooding power sounds kind of closer to Opeth, Lord Bane, and Queensryche. I wish they would have put more warmth and bass sounds better in my tastes, but what they have created here is heavy and crunchy enough to get into. One of strongest points about Transient is that their complex and intricate drum sections courtesy by technical approach of Edward Faust. On the other hand, Tom's vocal prowess is just amazing in the entire music of this new cd. There are some nice moments and great complex prog metal moments, so I wish them all the best for these departments :) To conclude this review, Transient has some magical and tasty moments in the new album, so I hope some musicians, who are enthusiatic about playing prog metal music in the Unites States, --need to contact them to make the foundation of the group stronger. Probably, this might not be their intension, if they are searching someone's help and welcome new bloods of hard working members, then the music within Transient would shine much brighter. Let's cross our fingers for their future works.

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Treasure Land - Questions
T&T

Swediesh Melodic Metal act with the influences of Prog Metal and neo-classical shred guitars. Some intricate and comlex ensembles attract this kind of music listeners. Jonas Hornqvist is the leading role on the solo section with a disciplined keyboard players having certain amount of great chops. Music itself of Treasure Land sometimes are close to the music of Symphony X and Stratovarius. Speedy double-bass drums are also evident, so Teutonic/German Metal influences showed, too. Perhaps, musicianship is quite well done, but production needs to get a bit of warmthness. Besides such a few of minor complaints, Treasure Land appeal both neo-classical metal and melodic power metal oriented progressive metal fans.

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Trespass - Morning Lights
8th Note/Musea Records
(2006)

Wow, this is quite interesting and fresh surprise! Trespass is a complex keyboard-dominated progressive rock trio from Israel. I thought this one would've been their first full-length debut album, but actually 'Morning Lights' is their official second album. The style of Tresspass on 'Morning Lights' could be introduced as symphonic progressive rock leaning toward 70's spirits and minds. Soundwise, you would compare their music with Emerson Lake & Palmer. In my case, their sounds and esp., the long complex sections remind me of brilliant Netherlands-based impressive prog rock group like Trace and Focus. However, they are not merely followers at all, just mind you. Even though Trespass might have been a new name in the scene of progressive rock, they have showcased brilliant lush instrumentations and interesting compositions here on this second album. Esp., the longer tracks like "Morning Lights" and "Ripples" are quite superb and very nice treats for symphonic prog rock fans. The main composer/keyboardist Gil Stein carefully chooses various synth sounds, and he would be a main focus if you are into keyboard solos and analog synth works. Of course, his fellow members like Roy Bar-Tour (bass) and Gabriel Weissman (drums) lay down solid foundation and dynamic rhythm sections. Overall, vintage prog sounds and keyboard-driven complex performance dominate the world of Morning Lights. No wonder French prog label Musea Records decided to sign and distribute the cd of this fine Israel group. In conclusion, this is highly recommended for keyboard prog fans out there. I've enjoyed listening to the music of Trespass quite a lot. Keep up a good work. Very impressive and fantastic musicianship!

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Triangle- Square The Circle

Zizania Entertainment Group

Honestly, I was not so familiar with Neo-Prog/Symphonic Rock scene untill I encountered Mr. Mattias Noren and European Perpetual Motion friends. In my country, many prog rock critics tend to look down neo-prog and 80s and 90s pomp rock bands (due to their stuborness that late 60s and 70s prog rock bands/artists are their high regards). Although I knew only Marillion in those days, I almost fell in the trap of such bad rumors and badly prejudices toward neo-prog and modern symphonic prog. Triangle is one of neo-prog bands which enlightened me that how neo-prog/pomp rock provides interesting sounds with new interpretation of prog rock and symphonic rock given inheritages through golden era of prog rock. When I first listened to this gem, it reminds me of a bit of Marillion. Not so intricate neither super-technical, but they provide warmness and comfortable joyness through Square The Circle. Totally appreciated to Mattias and my friends in Europe. Square The Circle basically contain symphonic and melodic keyboards with neo prog rock touches. Whenever I listen to Square The Circle album, it gives me the impression of calm sea, warm sunny days and cool breathe besides hanging out with my close friends. Neo-Prog sometimes go to complex and intricate ensembles a la Ricohet and Forgotten Suns. On the other hand, some bands keep calm and wamness. Triangle resides in the realm of between Ricochet, Forgotten Suns, and Shadowland. Neo-prog fans must be aware of this gem from Netherland. Very nice work for me, even though they are not really powerful or bombastic sounding heavier edge prog metal bands

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Tribal Tech - Rocket Science
ESC Records
(2000)

Tribal Tech has been known as one of hard technical fusion instrumental bands. Rocket Science is the album I have tried out from their catalog for the first time. And actually, I really enjoy their excellent ensembles. At release, they have released more than several albums throught their career. If I remember correctly, Tribal Tech got started with two leading members, Scott Henderson (guitar), and Gary Willis (bass). Rocket Science features Scott Henderson, Gary Willis, Scott Kinsey (keys), and Kirk Convington (drums). While listening, I realize that Tribal Tech is a really unique and impressive technical hard-fusion organization to my ears. Rocket Science includes high-tension "Saturn 5" and "Rocket Science". On the other hand, there are super-funky "Astro Chimp" and groovy fusion track "Song Holy Hall" having gothic quire sounds. Every tune on Rocket Science album does not sound like any other fusion/jazz bands, yet they create organized chaotic sounds and hot burning music. Very energetic, driving and really tight grooves you can find. Henderson's guitar performance seems to be a update verion of Jeff Beck, and he has quite unique tastes and modern approach. Willis creates really hectic busy pulse and funkey grooves. Scott Kinsey's keyboard sounds a quite unusual , but laid down really intelligent and progressive tones that I am totally impressed. Covinton's drumming is really sharp and dynamic all time. In addition, this band never forgets having fun and injecting strangeness and sense of humor, e.g., "Mini Me" and "Space Camel". They also include blues/funk hybrid tracks like "The Econoline". Tribal Tech knows how to make music diverse and unique, while they create bombastic and intense performance. Well-done!! Highly Recommended for hard fusion fans.

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Twinspirits - The Music That Will Heal The World
Lion Music
(2007)

As you see that Lion Music has been striving very hard to sign talented prog metal groups and guitar-oriented musicians for many years without any doubts, here they present the Italian prog metal group called Twinspirits. When you look at the credits of this group, you'll find the name of Daniele Liverani of Empty Tremor. Empty Tremor is one of popular complicated prog metal groups from Italy, so we prog metal enthusiasts want to expect something as big as Empty Termor's early works. But be careful that do not expect the early Empty Tremor sounds from their first album of Twinspirits. When I checked out the album for the first time, it did not convince me very much in the beginning. But gradually and with subsequent listens, some proggy parts of theirs make me happy and convincing. If you are looking for intricate sections and technical instrumentations from the musicians, then the music of Twinspirits would be difficult for you to enjoy. I do not think this is horrible album. It depends on what you demand on their style and songwriting approach, then you'd get into or dismiss this kind of melodic prog metal group that put the emphasis on the melodic sensibility over technicality. But do not underestimate what they can pull off or express on the entire album. There might not have had immediate punchlines through the ensemble and instrumentation at glance, but there are some strong instrumental moments when there are no vocal parts. I am not very sure that Empty Tremor still exists or not, but some people would feel that the approach of Twinspirits is a bit similar to the latter day of Empty Tremor that was geared toward melodic AOR hard rock way. It might not be an earth-shattering prog metal album, but their first full-length album has some strong musical moments and nice melodic prog metal sections as well. If you keep coming back to the music of this young Italian group, the reward would return later. I hope they would come up much better sounding music and delive an exicting new album in the future.

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Twisted Motivations - Red Shift
Independent Release
(2002)
Twisted Motivations is two-man project from Vancouver, Washington. Their music would be categoraized under some sort of sophisticated heavy complex powerful prog metal. Red Shift features aggressive, yet somewhat well-constructed ensembles played by Kevin Colo (guitars/music) and Darrell Pingree (volcals/lyrics). The music on Twisted Motivations does not sound close to any other typical power metal or progressive metal bands to my ears. If I compare them to others, well I would say Redemption/Fates Warning come to my mind. Twisted Motivations concentrate on playing guitar dominated heavy music with sophisticated arrangements and emotional lyrics in their original way. Definitely, crunchy and driving, yet they inject some nice acoustic movements and occasional keyboard sounds. Personally, I enjoy the second half of this album quite a lot.
[website: http://www.twistedmotivations.com/]

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