THOUGHT CHAMBER — Angular Perceptions (review)

THOUGHT CHAMBER — Angular Perceptions album cover Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
"Angular Perceptions" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Thought Chamber. The album was released through InsideOut Music in February 2007. Thought Chamber was formed in 2006 by guitarist Michael Harris (solo, Darkology, Zanister) and lead vocalist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Spock´s Beard). They brought in bassist Derek Blakley and drummer Rob Stankiewicz (both from Haji's Kitchen), and keyboard player Bobby Williamson (Outworld) to complete the lineup.

The music style on "Angular Perceptions" is a technically well played, relatively complex, and melodic type of progressive metal. It´s occasionally more rock oriented that metal oriented, but there are enough heavy parts and metal leanings for the album to be labelled metal. The band are incredibly talented and well playing, and Ted Leonard delivers one of his most remarkable vocal performances reaching both high and low notes with ease. The vocal melodies are strong and memorable too, which further helps him to shine.

Although Thought Chamber often wanders off into technical instrumental territory, they always make it sound like it´s a natural part of the tracks. Nothing is placed there for flash and the tracks flow nicely despite the structural complexity and adventurous ideas. Even the instrumental "Mr Qwinkle's Therapy" features a musical red thread and a strong melodic sensibility. While the music is often melodic and uplifting, it´s great to hear a track like "A Mind Beyond" which incorporates a darker atmosphere and showcases that Thought Chamber is capable of producing relatively diverse material. "Angular Perceptions" is generally an album featuring an abundance of details and it´s one of those releases where you hear something new each time you give it a listen.

It´s not a 100% unique sounding release, and there are nods toward classic 70s/80s progressive rock like Kansas, Yes, and Rush in the music, and it´s also hard to completely avoid a Dream Theater reference either, but overall Thought Chamber has created a relatively distinct sound. The album is well produced which is another plus in the book, and upon conclusion "Angular Perceptions" is an extremely impressive debut album by Thought Chamber, and it´s obvious that these guys are seasoned veterans of the scene. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.
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more than 2 years ago
Dream Theater references are probably fair, but I still think both of TC's albums are stronger than DT have been for a long time (I haven't heard the new one yet).

I prefer the more in your face style of Michael Harris' other band Darkology though. Not as outright progressive as TC IMO, but a hefty dose of US power metal more than makes up for that.

UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Colt wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I knew you had better taste than that! :~
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
If you remember my original review wasn´t as positive, but you´ve kept talking about this over the years Steve, so I decided to give it a second chance, and I´m glad I did. Brilliant release...
Colt wrote:
more than 2 years ago
A favourite of mine.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I must revisit this one soon.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
This one is more metal oriented than the next one. Personally I prefer the next one a Little more.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Great review! I still haven't heard this debut but it's those nods that rubbed me the wrong way on the next one. They just sounded too close to the source. But where the band shines they are spectacular. I'm really looking forward to a new album but still interested in checking this one out


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