In the beginning there was nothing…and then there was light! Several billion years later George Bellas presents The Dawn Of Time, a collection of songs inspired by the universe: how it was created and where it came from. Bellas recorded this new album together with drummer Marco Minnemann, who has become a significant and frequently asked session drummer performing on many albums in varied genres.
The setting of The Dawn Of Time is slightly different from Bellas’ previous recording Step Into The Future, which was a 75-five minute long, one piece performance. This time he had chosen for another approach. He now utilizes compositional techniques and elements from baroque, classical and romantic areas, but also songs that incline to progressive rock and to modern music. That approach resulted in a very varied album containing nineteen songs that make use of almost the entire length of a modern CD: 79 minutes and 55 seconds. This is what I call maximizing.
I’m glad George is working with Marco Minneman again, instead of using a drum computer. A machine can never compete with the chops and change he adds. His great craftsmanship, combined with George’s outstanding compositions, make The Dawn Of Time the best solo album George recorded so far. From the neo-classical songs like Cyclone and We Are Not Alone, to the gentle and passionate solos on Seeding The Universe and Suns Of Andromeda, George Bellas shows his great talent in creating atmospheres. He’s a versatile guitar player, who manages to play all those different musical styles in a coherent and exciting piece of music. He not only plays the guitar, but also the bass guitar and keyboards as he does on most of his previous albums. Listening to Electromagnetic, you can hear that he’s not an average bassist or keyboard player, like some other guitar heroes, but you can certainly hear he’s is a very gifted instrumentalist who combines the progressive influences with the more rockier songs like Nightmare Awoken or Voyage To Triangulum.
After the previous, more fusion influenced album that I liked very much, Bellas proves again to belong to the top of the bill of composers and instrumentalists of the modern progressive rock world these days. The Dawn Of Time certainly is a showcase for the progressive side of George Bellas. Buy it and you’ll love it.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013