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