THOUGHT CHAMBER
Progressive Metal • United States

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On their debut release "Angular Perceptions", American newcomers THOUGHT CHAMBER have crafted a technically brilliant progressive metal album which will excite fans of the genre. Listeners will recognise the familiar vocals of ENCHANT front man Ted Leonard. In a world where it's hard to find anything original, in which nothing and nobody is really innovative, newcomers Thought Chamber manage to draw attention right from the start with their debut album "Angular Perceptions". Their intelligent brand of progressive metal is highly complex while showing great variation. At the same time, it sounds like a coherent collection of songs.

Performing guitar, keyboards and vocals (on the track "Balance of One"), band leader Michael Harris (ARCH RIVAL) talks about the group's ambitions, "THOUGHT CHAMBER'S vision is to create material that is as original as possible. We like to include elements of funk and groove into our sound so it has to sound tight.
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Thanks to the t 666 for the addition and windhawk, Bosh66, Kev Rowland for the updates

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THOUGHT CHAMBER Discography

THOUGHT CHAMBER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.01 | 11 ratings
Angular Perceptions
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.95 | 7 ratings
Psykerion
Progressive Metal 2013

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THOUGHT CHAMBER Reviews

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Psykerion (2013) is the second full-length album by US progressive metal act Thought Chamber. Given the time between the release of the album and debut release Angular Perceptions (2007) it's perhaps no surprise that the returning band has seen some significant line-up changes, with only Michael Harris (guitars) and Ted Leonard (vocals) returning from the line-up which recorded the debut. Despite the majority of the debut being written by Harris, Psykerion is quite a different progressive metal affair.

Where Angular Perceptions was relatively straightforward for progressive metal, focusing on a song-based format, Psykerion is a lot more adventurous with the different sounds going into it. It tends towards a more technical brand of guitar playing while also at times including nods towards power metal riffs as well as some lighter sounds ranging from jazzy references to symphonic prog. A sixteen track album, Psykerion tends to feature quite a lot of brief tracks, particularly during the first half (half defined by track numbers rather than overall length). They tend to touch on a certain idea in the music before moving on with perfect flow, like they're part of one larger piece. There are also a couple of longer tracks in the form of Behind the Eyes of Ikk and Transcend, both of which number among my favourites from Psykerion.

This album has been a grower for me. At first it seemed more than competent; the musicianship on display here is undeniably at a very high level. Despite that it didn't drag me in the way Angular Perceptions previously had. I guess this could be because this new incarnation of Thought Chamber have turned their prog dial up to eleven leaving less room for the catchy hooks of songs like A Legend's Avalon as well as requiring a bit more time to properly take in and appreciate. Time is often the key with ambitious progressive rock or metal albums and Psykerion is no exception, and after a few listens I've come to not only appreciate the differences in the album compared to its predecessor but also to regard it as the superior effort. Aside from the technical progressive metal parts there's some nice softer parts including another favourite of mine called Light Year Time. Their tendency to lean towards symphonic prog causes the album to have several moments that wouldn't sound out of place on a Neal Morse/Transatlantic release.

Psykerion has been a thoroughly surprising release for me. After so many years of not hearing anything about the band I had resigned myself to what seemed the inevitably fact at the time that Thought Chamber was going to be one of those band's who made one album and then disappeared forever. I'm very happy that didn't turn out to be the case and even more so that now they're back they're better than ever. Psykerion stands as one of 2013's high quality progressive metal releases, even going as far as to blow field leaders Dream Theater and their latest self-titled effort out the water. Although it took a few listens to convince me, I have to say that it's earned itself a top tier rating and has pushed Thought Chamber into the big league of progressive metal.

96/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/thought-chamber-psykerion-t3256.html)

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
It has taken six years for Thought Chamber to follow-up their debut album, but there has been a lot going on with those involved, which has also seen quite a change in the line-up. Michael Harris (guitar, keyboards, harmony vocals) has managed to get Ted Leonard back again, even though these days he is not only singer in Enchant and Affector but of course Spock’s Beard, and the line-up has been completed by new members drummer Mike Haid (David T. Chastain, Joe Stump, etc.), bassist Jeff Plant and keyboardist Bill Jenkins (also of Enchant). The result is one of the most essential prog metal albums I have ever come across. Imagine Dream Theater style complex runs combined with the melody and layering of Kansas and one might just close to how majestic and incredible this album is.

This is the sort of album that I call a “review killer”, in that once I played it I just kept playing it and wasn’t getting to all of the other albums I should be reviewing. It also means that by the time I came to write about it I am actually at a loss to describe what I am hearing. Like all reviewers, we do what we do because we love music and want to share our views about it, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy everything we get sent to review and there are times when I am playing something and I question my very sanity as to why I am doing it. But then, albums like this one come around and it makes everything else more than worthwhile. If I had come across this band in the press or on the web and had seen that Ted was involved then I would have been intrigued as I have always loved Enchant (and the new SB album is undoubtedly their best since ‘Snow’), but in this case I was sent a download by the label so just grabbed it. As is normal for me, I didn’t read who was involved until I had played it through a few times so that I wouldn’t be influenced and could instead concentrate on the music. To be honest, I had convinced myself that Steve Walsh had been brought in for some songs, such is his influence on Ted in this album.

Complexity, simplicity, melody, dischord, lounge, metal, it’s all here. This is the complete package with every musician giving their all, with incredible note density and a locked-in feel that is hard to describe. Prog Metal honestly doesn’t get any better than this. Whatever you could ever want from the genre, it’s here, in spades… www.insideout.de

THOUGHT CHAMBER Angular Perceptions

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Valarius
I originally came across this band after hearing and falling in love with the song 'Transmigration of Souls', and upon finding out that their singer was none other than Enchant's Ted Leonard, I just knew I had to have this album.

One word: Wow.

After a two minute instrumental opening track, the song 'Sacred Treasure' completely blew me away, with its intro full of random guitar/keyboard/bass licks and solos, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. So many instruments playing so many different things at once. Layer upon layer of interesting melodies and harmonies makes this an instant classic in my eyes.

The typical Prog Metal cliche is that this is very 'Dream Theater inspired', and whilst I'm not denying that, Thought Chamber have a very cool exotic style and mixture of elements which make this a truly unique group. The amazing playing and songwriting style could easily stand toe-to-toe against DT, and songs like 'Sacred Treasure', 'Balance of One', 'God of Oblique' or any of the instrumentals justify this.

At times Leonard's vocals seem a little thin for this style of music, but hey I'm not complaining, it still sounds awesome. In fact, there is nothing to complain about, this is one hell of a debut, and deserves a place in every Prog fans collection.

THOUGHT CHAMBER Angular Perceptions

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Windhawk
Promising début album from this self-coined supergroup.

Excellent musicianship is the dominant feature on this album, especially experienced axeman Michael Harris use the opportunity to showcase his instrumental prowess on this release, but the other members of the band get their chances of conveying technical brilliance throughout this release too. And the vocals of Enchant vocalist Ted Leonard are excellent in a Dream Theater kind of way.

What's lacking are really good songs though. Lots of instrumental showcasing here, but not too many songs as such; as the compositions seems to be pieces assembled rather than songs composed.

Worth checking out by fans of technical metal with progressive elements, and should be loved by people of the opinion that Dream Theater don't showcase their technical abilities as much as they should.

THOUGHT CHAMBER Angular Perceptions

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The T 666
If you're going to play derivative progressive-metal, you better do it like this.

When I first learned that ENCHANT's Ted Leonard was the singer of a progressive-metal band, I got scared. ENCHANT, while a good group, is not really metal, and I could never imagine Leonard's soft, pop-esque vocals in a true metallic atmosphere. I thought it was too thin, too cute, too un-metal.

The good thing is that he has proved me wrong. In THOUGHT CHAMBER, Leonard's performance is excellent, among the best of his career. The usual melodic vocals he chooses for ENCHANT are here, but we see now another side of his abilities: the ability to sing louder, to sing higher, to be able to front a much louder band. He succeeds almost completely. Just a few times during the album I got the idea that he was in stress trying to fit in with the music, but generally, he makes for a very good progressive-metal vocalist.

And now let's talk about the music: THOUGHT CHAMBER is a traditional progressive-metal band that plays in the same school of DREAM THEATER. Their music is mostly riff-based but they have great originality to come up with very interesting ones. The songs are longer than usual, with extended instrumental sections and three purely-instrumental tracks. The influences are varied, and we can even feel some jazz here and there, especially in the harmonies and bass lines. THOUGHT CHAMBER puts a lot of emphasis in interesting texturing work, with some moments in the album sounding like true counterpoint.

The music wouldn't be as good if it wasn't played with such amazing skills. Here we have a true outstanding set of performers, from the excellent, jazz-oriented drummer and bass player (who really shines throughout the album) to the impressive guitarist, Michael Harris, leader and mastermind of the band. This album is his idea and it shows, as it is the guitar the instrument which in the end outshines the others with the splendor of the solos and ornaments and the technical proficiency one can discover and enjoy.

At times, "Angular Perceptions" just lacks memorable choruses or melodies to be considered a true 5-star album. I was inclined after the first few songs to give this record the highest rating, as it's one of the best-played traditional prog-metal albums in existence, but after I listened to the whole thing, the impression it left in my mind was less strong. It's an excellent addition to any collection and therefore I give it 4 stars.

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Colt wrote:
1044 days ago
For a Progressive Metalhead, It just doesn't get any better than this.

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