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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Inside Out U.S. 2013
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THOUGHT CHAMBER Discography

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.. Album Cover 4.01 | 12 ratings
Angular Perceptions
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 12 ratings
Psykerion
Progressive Metal 2013

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THOUGHT CHAMBER Reviews

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
When you have a progressive metal act coming onto the scene well over a decade after Images & Words hit and they call themselves some variation on "(cognitive process) (indoor space)", you more or less know what you can expect: technical, flashy, showy, and sometimes cheesy progressive metal in a Dream Theater vein. Psykerion is Thought Chamber's second album and it's certainly a technically competent piece of work, but at the same time it often comes down to mere showboating rather than crafting music which actually makes an emotional connection with the listener. If you are very fond of the Dream Theater style of prog metal, it can't hurt to give this one a try - but then again, the band name already told you that.

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
PSYKERION is the 2nd album by THOUGHT CHAMBER. This is the first time i've heard of them much less heard them so this is my first taste of their brand of progressive metal that has been getting much attention and high praise. It is a concept album and is put into a story form that is told by a young boy genius named Avakus on the spaceship Karakryps-One which is on a mission of some sort in the galaxy known as Psykerion. The events that unfold cause this young boy to endure an existential quandary and this is all backed up by some extremely top notch musicianship. Michael Harris is the virtuoso guitarist and keyboard player who adds his idiosyncratic signature on most of the tracks. His interplay with bassist Jeff Plant, Mike Haid on drums and Bill Jenkins on more keyboards is one of the most exciting sounds i've heard in prog metal in a while. While they still reside on the Dream Theater branch of prog metal, they have sufficiently distanced themselves from being clones and have a refreshing futuristic feel that some of the older bands have failed to achieve.

I have listened to this quite a bit lately because it is some intense technical metal that steers clear of alienating the listener. This band really knows how to deliver some satisfying stuff that blends the technical and emotional seamlessly. The fast runs are always counterbalanced by slower parts and often the call-and-response of the instruments creates an atmosphere that feels like galaxies flying by outside the spaceship. The production is top notch as well with everything being mixed perfectly and the mixture of short instrumentals with longer vocal rich compositions is very brilliantly played out indeed. The vocals of Ted Leonard sometimes remind me of Fran Cosmo of Orion The Hunter and the later Boston since he has a high pitched voice that hits all the high notes effortlessly.

Everything that works about this album is absolutely great, but unfortunately this doesn't come off as a perfect album for me. The problem lies in the fact that a few of these tracks just stray from the sound that this band has crafted so well. It's especially true in the slower songs. They clearly pay tribute to their favorite 70s progsters. For example “Light Year Time” sounds to me like a Kansas meets Styx kind of tune. “Isles Of Bizen” reminds me so much of Yes' “And You And I” with its chord progressions that I can't help but start singing “A man conceived a moment's answers to the dream.....” “Breath Of Life” sounds like it came from one of the gazillion Neal Morse projects (Ted's Spock's Beard days showing up here) and “Transcend” sounds like a long lost Kansas song with some serious spicing up of course. All of this ruins this as a perfect album for me but I still find some of the cream of the crop like “Kerakryps” to be highly exciting and very much looking forward to how this band develops their own sound further as well as hoping they ditch the blatant influences and pack them into more subtle forms of hero worshiping.

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Psykerion" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Thought Chamber. The album was released through InsideOut Music in September 2013. There have been quite a few changes in the lineup since the debut and as a consequence the only remaining members of the lineup that recorded "Angular Perceptions (2007)" are band founder/guitarist Michael Harris and lead vocalist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Affector, Spock´s Beard).

While Michael Harris was the main composer on "Angular Perceptions (2007)" and remains to be on "Psykerion" the two albums are quite different in sound and style. You can still hear it´s the same band playing, but Thought Chamber have developed their sound significantly in the years between the two releases. While references to acts like Dream Theater, late eighties Fates Warning (tracks like "Psykerion: The Question" and "Recoil" feature the same dark atmosphere) and at times even early Psychotic Waltz (mostly because of Ted Leonard´s voice and singing style) are valid enough, Thought Chamber incorporate a lot of progressive rock elements on "Psykerion", which they didn´t do to this extent on the debut album, which was more of a "straight" progressive metal affair. As a result "Psykerion" is quite an eclectic release featuring a successful balance between progressive metal and progressive rock elements (tracks like "Light Year Time" and "Isle of Bizen" for example feature very few metal related elements). Probably because of the shared sci-fi lyrics and imagery I can´t help mention that "Psykerion" features quite a few similarities to "ReEvolution (2013)" by Cynthesis. Another great 2013 progressive metal release.

"Psykerion" features 16 tracks and a full playing time of 63:53 minutes. Some of the tracks are shorter instrumentals, interludes or intro/outros, but the song lengths are generally around the 3 - 5 minutes mark, with only two longer tracks out of the bunch and none of those two exceed the 10 minutes mark. The whole thing is packed in a powerful and well produced sound production. At times I feel the keyboards (leads) are slightly too high in the mix, but that´s a minor issue. The organ on the other hand are placed tastefully in the mix and provide the music with a nice organic warmth.

The musicianship are on a high level. In keeping with the eclectic nature of the music you´ll be exposed to both atmospheric playing and more challenging progressive parts with fast runs and tempo- and time signature changes in "classic" progressive metal style. Lead vocalist Ted Leonard delivers a very convincing performance, but if you are already familiar with some of his previous work, that´s really no surprise. He is a greatly skilled singer with a distinct sounding voice and a personal vocal style.

"Psykerion" reeks of class all the way through. The musicianship are strong, the sound production professional and well sounding and the songwriting is intriguing and adventurous. All in all a high quality product in every way possible. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

THOUGHT CHAMBER Psykerion

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

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Colt wrote:
1147 days ago
For a Progressive Metalhead, It just doesn't get any better than this.

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