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Andeavor: Once Upon Time

Hard to believe it's been 10 years since the release of progressive metal act Andeavor's debut Once Upon Time. Now completely remixed and remastered by John Trevethan in conjunction with Chris Rodler and Progressive Music Management, Once Upon Time can now be enjoyed by a whole new generation of prog-metal fans.

First, a little history...The roots of Andeavor began in Pennsylvania in the 1980's, when singer/bassist/keyboard player Douglas Peck, drummer Steve Starvaggi, and guitarist Steve Matusik all were playing in various hard rock, prog, & metal bands in their area, unitl the early 1990's when they decided to form a group together, which resulted in the formation of Andeavor. Rodler, who had been playing in his own bands Leger de Main and RH Factor, and running his record label Progressive Music Management, caught wind of what Andeavor were doing and offered his services on keyboards and guitar sythesizer. After a few years or writing and recording, the finished Once Upon Time was released in 1999.

The songs on Once Upon Time are prime examples of powerful, dramatic, and symphonic progressive metal, clearly influenced by Rush, Styx, Kansas, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche. Plenty of heavy, complex riffs, wild guitar solos, sweeping synth orchestrations, histrionic vocals, and tight rhythmic grooves. Featuring 12 songs that clock in at over an hour or music, there's a lot to take in here, but there's plenty of highlights, including the complex "Heaven's Gate", complete with chugging riffs, intricate unison synth/guitar lines, and powerful vocals, the lush & symphonic "One More Day", the dark and menacing "Crimson Tears", the snarling, crushing metal track "False Profit", and the proggy, near 9-minute epic "House of Rags". Much of the rhythm guitar work from Matusik on the album has a nice 80's Alex Lifeson/Rush texture to it, and his leads are quite explosive and tasty, especially on the wild opener "Deja Vu".

For progessive metal fans, there's a lot to like here. Plenty of symphonic passages, heavier sections, atmospheric moments, and no shortage of melody. Only two slight drawbacks are the length of the album (there's almost too much music here) and some moments where Peck seems to be straining to hit some of the high notes. Otherwise, this is a welcome reissue of a long forgotten progressive metal gem.


Track Listing
1. Deja Vu 04:47
2. Spotlight 06:32
3. Heaven's Gate 06:17
4. One More Day 05:54
5. Jigsaw 06:16
6. Crimson Tears 05:01
7. Face Paint 07:35
8. The Long Walk 04:33
9. Anybody's Guess 05:24
10. False Profit 03:57
11. House of Rags 08:56
12. Migraine 06:21

Added: October 31st 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1166
Language: english

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