Oblivious to the Obvious
Style: Progressive Rock/metal
Release date: February 19th 2009

The follow up to the critical acclaimed 'Subconscious' album took more than 4 years to complete, and the outcome is ten songs and 2 hours and 19 minutes worth of material. Hourglass has created nothing short of a progressive mammoth that leaves absolutely nothing to be desired for once you've managed to take it all in, and it is a lot I promise...

And they have not limited themselves in any way, with musical references to so many great progressive bands; Power of Omens, Fates Warning, Rush, Kansas, Enchant, Dream Theater and Shadow Gallery just to name some. Mastermind behind the band, guitarist Brick Williams, is musically taking us into neo-prog, old school progressive rock, progressive metal, Spanish folklore and melodic rock territories with great success.

Virtuosity, diversity and complexity are the adjectives I feel describes Hourglass' epic creations the best, and this is thinking man's music in its purest form, and while not everything shines equally bright there is simply so much equilibristic and masterful music that I just sit back in awe.

The technical level is at a very high level, and each member gets enough room to shine; vocalist Michael Turner, who sound like the perfect combination between Ted Leonard and Ray Alder has the perfect voice for these creations and shows his full palette of emotions on the album. The musician I feel stands out the most, besides the multitalented song writer Brick Williams, is bass player Eric Blood; some of his bass runs are simply amazing. The rest of the band performs at the highest level as well, and some of the instrumental passages leave me awestricken.

This is a self released and produced album, which means the production, lacks some; the drum production is below par, and the sound could be clearer, but given the circumstances at hand I think that the outcome is good with room for improvements.

Sure once you go out on a limb you are taking a big risk; they do not manage to perform at the highest level throughout all 30 minutes of the title-track, but that is just me nitpicking a bit because Hourglass is surely one of the most talented progressive bands around without a deal...

Hourglass has everything needed to be the next big thing in progressive metal, and I just hope they manage to run their career better than Power of Omens did, so that we will hear a lot from them in the future, and not see them disappear into oblivion...

It is obvious to me that Hourglass is a diamond in the rough, and this is a mandatory purchase if progressive metal is the name of the game for you!

Disc 1
01. On the Brink (12:39)
02. Homeward Bound (9:58)
03. Pawn II (13:41)
04. Faces (11:53)
05. 38th Floor (21:22)
Disc 2
01. Facade (14:50)
02. Skeletons (6:58)
03. Estranged (7:05)
04. Delirium (10:20)
05. Oblivious to the Obvious (30:33)
  Part 1 - No Chance
  Part 2 - Realization
  Part 3 - Remember
  Part 4 - In My Hands
  Part 5 - Redemption
Label: Self Released
Promotion: Two Side Moon/SLW Promotions
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: June 1st 2009
Website: www.hourglassband.com