Although Tomorrow's Eve's albums always have been decent and pretty interesting to listen to, the band never found a way to take the next step that brings them in the major league of progressive metal. Years ago both founders; guitarist Rainer Grund and keyboard player Oliver Schwickert added the distinguished vocals of Mekong Delta's frontman Martin LeMar, a big step forward that should have brought more international attention to the band. Since the previous album; Tales From Serpentia, the band went on a hiatus for almost ten years, but 2018 sees a resurrection with two brand new members with impressive backgrounds. First of all, Mike LePond bass player for (the late) Symphony X and many more projects, joined, together with master drummer John Macaluso, who has Yngwie Malmsteen, Ark and numerous other projects on his palmaris. His skills also can be heard on Michael Romeo's latest effort; War Of The Worlds Pt 1. So Mirror Of Creation II - Project Ikaros has all the ingredients to really deliver something special.
Project Ikaros is the third part of the Mirror Of Creation series, that started in 2003 and musically it brings together powerful Dream Theater related guitar and keyboard parts with more accessible elements of Queensryche or Symphony X and even more subtle hints towards neo progressive rock bands like Galahad and even Marillion. Martin LeMar has a nice rough edge in his vocals, sometimes reminding me of Geoff Tate, other times the mighty Bruce Dickinson comes to mind. Basically the opener; Welcome To The Show does sum up all the indications; a lot of variations in the vocal lines, brilliant technical guitar versus keyboard parts, dedicated and very solid drum parts and a steady bass that keeps all things in order. The following Morpheus emphasis on the heavier side, but remains subtle and delicate at certain points. The keyboard intro of Bread And Circuses is one that would fit right into one of the more impressive Dream Theater albums and Martin combines rough vocals in Russell Allen style with a Damian Wilson clearness. So far I am very happy with the results of the album and Project Ikaros does maintain the high standard they have set on the first track as they continue the album. Imago is nice and dark and The System is a little bit more bombastic, but perfectly suits the album and holds very strong riffs alongside Macaluso's majestic drums. Taking a step back in power and Law And Order could be a power ballad, but due to the complexity and length the track turns into the album's mighty epical composition. During Terminal, we are treated to a heavy riffing style that reminds me of Nick van Dyke's Redemption, wonderful! Inner Sanctum is just a solid progressive track that doesn't need more explanation and with the final track Gods Among Each Other the band shows another epic track, perhaps my personal favourite of the album, slower, but no less impressive.
Tomorrow's Eve has returned to the stage of progressive metal with an almost perfect album, the fresh start, an improved line-up and the third part of Mirror Of Creation has to bring them the recognition they deserve, for this is a mighty progressive metal album, one I highly recommend.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen
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