It's always a pleasure for a reviewer to introduce a fantastic new band to the readers. This time I spotlight on Time Horizon, a band that surprised me very much with their superb album Living Water. Time Horizon are a good example of an American band influenced by European outfits like Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis and at the same time sound like typical American progressive rock groups. This means that occasionally also the style of bands like Journey, Styx, Kansas, Spock's Beard, Toto and Boston can be recognized. As far as the vocals are concerned, Time Horizon have a lot in common with Toto and Boston, both bands with very strong singers in their line-up. Time Horizon is provided with strong lead vocals by drummer Bruce Gaetke, supported by the background vocals of keyboardist Ralph Otteson and guitarist Dave Dickerson. Moreover, Otteson and Dickerson keep the music interesting by playing fabulous solos throughout the album.
Not all tracks on Living Water sound like the above-mentioned American bands. Two pieces differ a lot compared to the other eight. The title track sounds like as if it was composed and performed by Tangerine Dream with one difference, namely that the music isn't instrumental since Otteson wrote some lyrics that Gaetke sings very strongly. The other track that differs from the progressive rock sound is Me Chili Caliente, the only instrumental on Living Water. It's a short piece entirely performed on the acoustic guitars thus evoking a strong Spanish feel, but also Steve Howe playing his acoustic interludes with Yes. By composing different sounding pieces the variety on the album increases. They also managed to find a fine balance between up-tempo pieces like Life Fantastic, Age Of Wonders and Feel The Change and the more mellow sounding songs as Living Water Prelude, Forgiveness and Paradise. It resulted all together in an excellent sounding album without any weak compositions that will be enjoyed by people who fancy the music of the above-mentioned bands.
However, I have a remark to make: people who don't like progressive rock with Christian lyrics may have a problem with Living Water. Just like albums made by bands and artists as Neal Morse, Salem Hill, Iona, Stryper and Supernal Endgame the songs involve Jesus Christ. Personally, I have no problems at all with Christian lyrics as long as they're part of strong progressive rock tunes and this is certainly the case with Time Horizon. Nevertheless, I just had to mention it because sometimes it's an issue for devotees of progressive rock.
While writing this review I noticed on their website that the band experienced some line-up changes. Ralph Otteson and Bruce Gaetke, who both erected the band in 2004, are still present, but they recruited other musicians to perform the music of this excellent album on a live stage. Hopefully this new line-up will record a strong follow-up album in the near future, since I would love to hear more of their music on a regular basis. Highly recommended!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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