Belgium musician Tom “Tee” Tas is a professional musician, who is or was a member of several bands, like the legendary Ostrogoth, the progressive rock band Neo Prophet, melodic metal band 23 Acez, space rockers Quantum Fantay and the recently started power metal band Thorium. Regarding those bands, we have to admit Tom likes his musical diversity. To show that diversity he recorded two solo albums in one year; first his album Godseed, which was released under the moniker Entering Polaris (2018, see review). An album that showed the progressive, power metal side of Tom Tee. Recorded in the same year, but recently released comes Thriving Force, an album released as In Motion. Both albums were mixed and mastered by DGM's Simone Mularoni.
After Godseed, Thriving Force became the counterpart of Tom Tee previous release and the album varies from melodic death metal to progressive trash metal. The album tracks are complex and due to the use of several guest vocalists, the atmosphere and aggression differ from song to song. Inspiration for the album came from bands like Rush, Gojira and Scar Symmetry. After the opener Inception; an instrumental that slowly shifts from acoustic guitars to a furious soloing part, Thrive sets the sphere for almost all of the rest of the album. Powerful trashy riffs, heavy grunts and full speed double bass drums are combined with more melodic parts and beautiful clean vocal parts and wonderful guitar solos. Credits on Thrive go to guest guitarist Joris Van Daele who competes with Tom Tee during the fine extended solo part of the track. During I Bleed Worlds, there is no need for clean vocals, for this is a dark slow composition that takes you down to the depths of hell. Nicely found is the combination of heavy, nasty riffs with delicate melodic playing during the song. Both parts of The Dyeing Of Spheres have a similar musical sphere, but due to the use of two different vocalists, both parts also are miles away from each other. Where Jasper Daelman represents the dark first part of the song, Matthieu Romarin tends to add an alternative metal element to the composition. Although the first part has an amazing solo, I prefer the slightly more accessible second part of the song, which reminds me a bit of Haji's Kitchen. For Utopia Tom combines neo classical guitar playing with three different vocalist. Although the song is a great powerhouse, for me two vocalists would have done the job for me; the screaming parts suit to the song, but don't really appeal to me. The songs Lunar and the final track Solar are quite different from the regular compositions on the album. Both are instrumentals, highlighting the acoustic side of In Motion and emphasizing on cello and saxophone. Those two songs in combination with Always In Motion; the over eighteen minutes clocking epical highlight of the album make this an obligated listen for the progressive metal aficionado, who's not afraid of a few grunts. This composition shows the musical heritage of Tom Tee and the way he fuses everything into into a brilliant composition. Listen to the three final songs of the album as they are positioned on the CD, for maximum effort.
As a progressive metal fan, I thought Tom's first release; Godseed would be the one that would appeal the best to me. Just for the reason I was more familiar with the guest vocalists present. After several listen, I have to conclude this In Motion album is the one I prefer. Just due to the power and intensity, amazing soloing and the combination of the final three songs.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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