All songs on this album are written by Canadian Tom Frelek, founder of this band and taking care of the guitars and keys. As vocalis,t he invited Henrik Bath (Darkwater) which is bull’s eye. On top of that, Mike Lepond (Symphony X) took care of the bass parts and the rhythmn section is completed with Marco Minnerman (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani). These first class artists are used to songs with a certain high quality and are only willing to cooperate if the music is good enough. I have to say that every of the 80 minutes on this album is worth listening to and the variety in tempos, atmosphere and heaviness never bores. Prog rock, cinematic soundtrack sounding pieces, metal guitars and catchy melodies – you’ll hear it all.
Every song has its own story. The instrumental opener starts slow and symphoni,c turning out a bit heavier near the end. “Aberration” is a long track with a lot of softer piano and guitar parts, excellent vocals by Henrik and brightened up with sudden faster pieces and heavy guitar riffs. “Deafening Thoughts” is a bit heavier and has, besides some symphonic keys, a nice drive. “Back To Life” starts soft, then exallerates a bit to midtempo and has a real nice guitar solo towards the end. You can hear that this is the work of great musicians.
The first fast song is “Palisades”, that’s what I thought, but then the tempo slows down to increase later on. “Cornerstone Away” is a ballad in which Henrik is accompanied by singer/songwriter Kristine Bishop. After that, the journey continues with a rather soft and mellow instrumental.
Just before I thought that the album is becoming too soft, the song “Arise” follows with some nice heavy riffing and more tempo, but like all the songs, there are softer parts embedded. After another progressive and very variable song, the Magnus Opus of this album follows – the almost 20 minute long “Exodus”, in which beautiful melodies are varied with historical sound fragments. If you haven’t been convinced yet that Tom is an excellent songwriter, you will be after this track. In this song, all elements and styles used on the album pass by again.
Fans of prog rock, prog metal and melodic metal should not hesitate to take a listen to this debut.
03. Deafening Thoughts
04. Back To Life
06. Cornerstone Away
07. Still Life
09. Across the Horizon
Playing time: 80:00
Release date: 30 October, 2015
Label: Ulterium Records