Every now and then, a record label known for releasing albums by certain types of artists - in this case, Finland's Lion Music is typically associated with guitar music and progressive rock by the likes of Tony MacAlpine, Lars Eric Mattsson and Empire - issues a disc that doesn't really fit within the confines of that label's niche.
And so it is with the five-man Swedish band Mister Kite, whose music reaches beyond the realms of progressive rock and progressive metal. Granted, the opening title track sounds a lot like latter-era Rush, and "The Diary of a Stranger," a three part-epic in the middle of the record, uses female vocals, atmospheric passages, loud-and-quiet interludes and clever wordplay to magnificent effect. To wit: "What made you feel so old/God knows, nobody knows/What made you turn so cold/God knows, God knows I know," from "Part II-God Knows I Know." And the chunky "Seventeen Years" - featuring a guitar solo from Freak Kitchen's guitarist Mattias IA Eklundh - boasts one of the catchiest prog-metal choruses I've heard all year.
But most of the tracks on the last half of All In Time might better fit into the U.S. modern-rock radio format. "Rain" boasts distorted vocals, an aggressive chorus and a touch of funk, while "Inside" sorta sounds like Nickelback with keyboards, and "Soulsaving Sister" recalls The Cult. Another track, "Here We Are," could have been lifted from the sessions for Winger's vastly underrated and complex third album, Pull. Alf Wemmenling's voice packs a degree of angst usually not heard in progressive metal, and Magnus Kristensson's thick guitar riffs are tuned down just enough to give Mister Kite an extra dose of grit. Filled with quirks, modern metal influences and overflowing talent, All In Time reflects the sound of a young band striving to connect with a wide audience. It won't be long before Mister Kite could be flying high among Europe's rock elite -- and, with lots of luck, on U.S. radio airwaves.