TIME DWELLERS — Novum Aurora

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TIME DWELLERS - Novum Aurora cover
4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2022

Filed under Heavy Psych


1. Rising: Dawn / Awakening / Metamorphosis (9:00)
2. At Least We're Having Fun (2:50)
3. Seasons Change (8:27)
4. What's About to Happen... (2:32)
5. Sound of the Apocalypse (6:54)
6. Surfing with Greta (3:55)
7. You Are the Sun (7:26)
8. Tabular Balls (7:19)

Total Time 48:23


- Kristofer Stjernquist / vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, synthesizers, Mellotron
- Martin Fairbanks / lead guitar, backing vocals
- Henrik Bergman / drums & percussion, backing vocals

About this release

Novum Aurora [p]
2022 CD

Thanks to silly puppy for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
When i say the 70s are a gift that never stop giving, i’m not only referring to the seemingly endless supply of treasures that were recorded during a single decade but i’m also talking about the influence that modern artists still are lapping up in great abundance. Retro prog should be considered a whole new subsection of the progressive rock universe at this point with countless bands adopting the sounds, songwriting and ethos of classic era artists. Sweden and Scandinavia in general seems to be the new ground zero for retro prog and here is yet one more band, TIME DWELLERS that comes from the far southern city of Karlshamn.

Formed in 2017, this band is a trio consisting of Martin Fairbanks (guitar), Kristofer Stjernquist (vocals, synthesizer, bass, guitar) and Henrik Bergman (drums). The band’s debut NOVUM AURORA hit the scene in May of 2022 but i’m only getting around to it right after the turn of the year in early 2023. This band delivers the very essence of what retro prog dreams come true are all about. Sounding like they easily could’ve written and produced this in the early 1970s, TIME DWELLERS seems to take a cue from many bands of the English scene.

The heavy melodic rock that features tight harmonies accompanied by proggier than usual compositions brings the great Uriah Heep to mind especially around the “Salisbury” and “Look At Yourself” era although lead singer Kristofer Stjernquist doesn’t quite have the vocal range of the legendary David Byron. The opening track “Rising: Dawn / Awakening / Metamorphosis” whiffs of Emerson, Lake & Palmer with a robust keyboard riff but what’s immediately apparent is that this guys have thoroughly studied the melodic rock compositional approach of early 70s bands and mastered it thoroughly.

In addition to heavier bands like Uriah Heep and fleeting references to Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash and Led Zeppelin, the band showcases slower tracks in the vein of Free, UFO, Stray and well countless other blues based hard rock bands of the era. What’s impressive about TIME DWELLERS is that they have incorporated all the elements of the era together so very well and make it sound like they were a phantom band of the era without ever releasing anything until now. Unlike many hard rock albums of the era, NOVUM AURORA has an impressive production that allows the synthesizers, mellotrons and other background sounds to mix perfectly with the guitars, bass and drums.

On the songwriting side of things, these guys have nailed that classic compositional structure with tight instantly catchy melodies without sounding cheesy or overly maudlin. The album is easily accessible upon a single listening experience yet has enough going on to keep you coming back. The music has an edge to it without eradicating the easy to follow hooks. Perhaps a little too tame for many modern heavy rockers but if taken as the retro band that they are, then i think TIME DWELLERS have done an excellent job at capturing the zeitgeist of an era gone by without sounding like a clone of any particular artist (that i’m aware of anyways).

While i wouldn’t call NOVUM AURORA a modern masterpiece of revisited retro prog in the same way that Wobbler has channeled past glories, i would call this an amazingly brilliant piece of late 1960s / early 1970s heavy retro psych prog that not only evokes the time of half a century ago in the music underground but also is a relevant listening experience for lover’s of melodic rock that alternates between heavier and softer passages. The musicians are all on the top of their game and the vocals are spot on for replicating these retro sounds. Very impressive. Looking forward to hearing how these guys progress. Sweden is a never-ending wellspring of fertile creative spirits!

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