Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Timesword - Chains Of Sin
   
Musical Style: Progressive Metal Produced By: Dan Logoluso
Record Label: 7Hard Country Of Origin: Italy
Year Released: 2010 Artist Website:
Tracks: 6 Rating: 85%
Running Time: 51:19
Timesword - Chains Of Sin

Italy’s Timesword can trace its history to 2005 when it was founded by guitarist Dan Logoluso.  Drummer Alex Galanti, bassist Luca Prederi and keyboardist Alberto Sonzogzi were recruited in 2007 while the group rounded out its line up with vocalist Mark Pastorino the following year.  Subsequently procuring a deal with the German label 7Hard Records in 2009, Timesword soon entered the studio and began work on the progressive metal of its winter of 2010 full length debut Chains Of Sin.

At this point it must be mentioned the often maligned and overlooked Christian progressive metal scene.  Pursuit and Revelation Project are two of the more noteworthy acts, with the former releasing the technically driven heaviness of its sophomore release Quest in 2004 and latter taking an End Times themed conceptual approach on its self-titled debut from 2005.  Brazil’s Menahem, perhaps the best of the bunch, deserves consideration for the progressive power metal of its 2008 full length offering Angels & Shadows while Southern California based Souljourners showed significant promise on its debut Mind Control from the same year.

As you can see, the only complaint in regards to the scene does not necessarily revolve around quality but rather quantity in that there are not a lot of bands to choose from.

The good news, however, is that we have one more talented group to report on in Timesword.  If anything, Timesword fits the bill when it comes to progressive metal, interweaving its material with needed amounts of rhythm guitar but allowing for intricate time and tempo changes in addition to an abundance of lengthy – and at times technical – instrumental jam excursions.  The end result is a six song effort in Chains Of Sin, with the first five clocking in at the six to seven minute range followed by a five part “epic” at just under twenty minutes.  All stand on their own in that each track brings that extra something special in terms of notable guitar riff, well conceived melody and attention to creative detail that would allow it to hold up under repeated play.

In terms of direct comparisons, if you like any of the previously referenced bands then I can see Timesword appealing to you.  If you are into those that bring the occasional touch of the progressive but cannot be accurately labeled progressive – Theocracy, Destra, Narnia and Wingdom come to mind – then Timesword also has a lot to offer. 

Specifically, many reviewers mentioned Dream Theater and Symphony X, a particular I cannot help but agree with.  You will encounter many Dream Theater like melodies throughout Chains Of Sin while its showcase track, “Skyland”, would not sound out of place on any Symphony X album.  I also find that many of the darker musical moments here, such as the aptly entitled “Three Days Of Darkness”, the fourth part to the epic “Real Mystery”, hints at New Jersey based Suspyre.  As a matter of fact, talented vocalist Mark Pastorino, who brings a smooth and mid-ranged vocal presence, reminds me somewhat of Clay Barton when singing in a lower register.

Musicianship, otherwise, stands out.  I enjoy how Timesword stretches and cuts loose during the generous instrumental moments throughout the album, gracing the likes of “A Thousand Year Kingdom” and “Highway To Paradise” with tasteful lead guitar and keyboard duels.  “World Confusion”, in particular, finds Dan Logoluso showcasing his adept soloing abilities while keyboardist Alberto Sonzogni, whose work highlights without coming across unnecessarily dominant, adds some tasteful Hammond B to several tracks.  It also must be noted that bassist Bryan Beller (James LaBrie, Steve Vai) lends his playing to “World Confusion” and “Skyland”.

Production values are top notch, as is the albums packaging.

“A Thousand Year Kingdom” is a solid album opener.  The song starts instrumentally as forward keyboards join with an ample mix of rhythm guitar.  Calmly slowing for its first verse, “A Thousand Year Kingdom” regains its initiative upon achieving an impetus filled chorus detailing life during the millennium:

Living thousand years
In the world of tomorrow
Where people could be free
In a long time reign of peace

Living thousand years
In a world with no sorrow
And people will be free
In this long time reign of peace

A lengthy instrumental passage features some jazzy lead guitar and keyboard dueling.

“Highway To Paradise” heads in the heavier direction.  The trace of organ highlighting the song prove refreshing as does the bottom heavy groove that goes along with it- all the while a pronounced rhythm guitar adds to the decisive scene.  Another lead guitar and keyboard contest takes “Highway To Paradise” through its instrumental moments.  Lyrically, this one deals with the passing of a loved one:

In my heart I feel so sad
I wanted to meet you one more time
To speak and smile
With you again

For list time my friend
You surprised the world around you
The pain never shows
Only you know the reason

Now you are walking on
The highway to paradise
You will arrive welcomed
In the skyland deserved

“A New Way” starts slow and driving to eerie keyboards and down tuned guitars.  The caustic proclivity abruptly transitions to an acoustic guitar just prior to the song reaching the stillness of its first verse.  When impetus picks back up, it is for an authoritative chorus backed by organ and more of the bands angst laden momentum.  The changes in time and tempo really stand out on this one, as do the hope filled lyrics:

I will be free from the chains of evil
Bring to people around me
The word despised
Will not be an easy life

But I must do it
For the will of God
The snake will oppose me
With prayer I win

“World Confusion” rollicks forward from the start, driven through its verses by quite the dominant guitar riff but also politely decelerating for a catchy chorus interwoven with keyboards and piano.  But it is instrumentally where “World Confusion” shines, as tempo changes are applied to more than one instrumental interlude allowing Logoluso to bestow his fluidly done lead work.  Lyrics warn against greed while reinforcing the need for love:

Money or power
There’s no difference
The grand (men) of the world
Want all for themselves

Stop your longing
To have at all costs
Everything here
But love every creature

“Skyland” brings a darker and weightier sound.  The song sports a near perfect mix of snarling guitars and airy keyboards, blending in some symphonic touches while featuring an expert Theocracy style chorus- very catchy but giving rise to an epic feel in the process.  Another jam influenced instrumental passage rounds out perhaps the finest track here.  “Skyland” is a synonym for heaven:

Send me Your breath
You light my path
I wish to live
Only on Your way

In the Skyland where we’ll be
If God wants for us
The angels sing all day
And death never comes

“Real Mystery” is a dynamic twenty minute epic that breaks down into five parts. 

“The Son Of Man”, part one, opens its first minute and a half to a keyed up instrumental.  After tapering to atmospheric keyboards, the song moves through its weighty verses – with the guitar hammering in and out of the mix – before culminating for a melodically driven chorus.  “The Son Of Man” focuses on Christ:

To rise again
From the death of
The flesh and soul
To be free forever
From the sins

The second, “The World Speaks”, comes across in the form of a semi ballad.  The song starts slowly to piano and bluesy guitar only to gradually build momentum until a driving rhythm guitar adds to the bombastic scene.  “The World Speaks” deals with the struggles of the flesh:

I lost freedom of my soul
Money and power are now my faith
No space (time) for prayer…

“Incoming Time”, a swiftly moving instrumental with a jazz-fusion feel, gives way to “Three Days Of Darkness”.  A bottom heavy rocker, this one proves a raucous piece with its hard hitting chorus and every bit as formidable milieu.  “Incoming Time” builds upon the same theme:

The signs of the end of times
They are in front of me now

I’m not able to free
Myself from the weight of my egotism

Closing things out is “The New World”, a tranquil ballad carried by keyboards and acoustic guitar but with female vocals – very capably handed by Lili Rose – adding to the emotional scene.  Things culminate with the second coming:

The silence
Is falling from the sky
A brilliant white light
Has opened the clouds

Review by Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: “A Thousand Year Kingdom” (6:33), “Highway To Paradise” (6:24), “A New Way” (6:44), “World Confusion” (6:00), “Skyland” (5:42), “Real Mystery” (19:44)

Musicians
Mark Pastorino – Lead Vocals
Dan Logoluso – Guitars
Alberto Sonzogni – Keyboards
Luca Prederi – Bass
Alex Galanti – Drums

Additional Musicians
Bryan Beller – Bass
Lili Rose – Lead Vocals

 

Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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