Another fine example that, even though there is no shortage of fine musicians out there, there seems to be a premium on good original ideas. Hourglass have all the chops you'd want from a progressive metal outfit but have not found the proper vehicle to showcase them in a unique way. The tracks tend to meander as the band chases it's own tail searching for an identity. At times as soft and overripe as Camembert, at times as hard and tempestuous as a hurricane; the band constantly straddles the fence between these two poles and never fully succeeds at either. They have plenty of jab but no knockout punch. It's like being bludgeoned to death with a pillow. If not for the saving grace of the 26:53 title track, which on it's own merits 2 stars, this disc would be nearly all filler.
Having said that I still give them 3 ½ stars because there is tons of promise here. Drummer John Dunston and guitarist Brick Williams have the potential to be as lethal a combination as Portnoy/ Petrucci. I hear plenty of good musical ideas get started, but they never seem to fully develop, to push the songs over the top. The band needs to streamline some of their tracks which seem to be long for long's sake , dump some of the softer passages which would have gone over well 15 years ago , and concentrate on the heavier side of their sound. A diamond in the rough which may well appeal to fans of Magna Carta bands such as Ice Age and Shadow Gallery.