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Thought Machine: Maiden Voyage

Thought Machine is a four piece progressive rock band made up of Brett Waye, lead vocals, bass, synthesizers, keyboards and cogs; Scott Maclean, guitar; Marc Langille, backing vocals, guitar, wheels, and synth-guitar; and Adam Wedgewood, drums and levers, from Sydney, Nova Scotia.

This is a great debut album for this or any band. It definitely provides a full length epic recording, full of power chords, acoustic guitar adventures, deep bass, fun and unique synth flights, and thunder drums which have been unmatched so far this year. It is the kind of debut I would probably write if I was a musician. You want to make sure you include enough power to bowl over the fans that help bring you back for the sophomore album. No doubt they'll be back. They seem to have no trouble creating music. Wedgewood is a star drummer and makes this album and band one to add to the 'Watch List'.

Rating: 4/5 – Very good debut full of epic proportions. You usually don't get this much from a new band. They seemed prepared and ready to make a big splash. This album surely will.

Track Listing:

Power drums and lead electrics rush forward blasting the speakers as the opening of "The Binding" takes off and the voyage is underway. After a brief quiet moment of acoustic guitar, bass and synths, the vocals echo "tie that rope tight so you might just hold on to me…" Then we are off and running again, with all guns blazing. Full on drums hammering out the beat and a Rush – like complex lead electric riffing section with great support of bass and cymbals, followed by launching lead electric again, kicking it up another notch. An almost Working Man rhythm, but original. Full of thunder.

As the drums and lead electric slow, we move into "Intricate Designs". This song takes us in another direction after the opening drum and guitar mashing. The beautiful electric lead meanderings are wonderful and remind me of early Rush. In fact, except for the vocals, which are more standard rock, the music sounds like early Rush. Very good guitar and especially drum work here. The percussion work of Wedgewood will bring back memories of early Neil Peart.

"The Frayed End" starts out slower than the first two songs. The lead guitar and vocals take us through the storyline. Then we get those power drums followed by amazing guitar. The instrumentation is absolutely stellar. Great acoustic guitar and the synths are also fantastic.

Soft electric chords and patted drums along with those Peart - like cymbals and cool synths open "Hold On (Reprise)". The cool drumming and guitar continues and helps lull you into a relaxing moment until Waye's vocals enter. "Hold onto life, love, me", and are shortly followed by a Rush – like rhythm blast – off.

"Chalk Lines" opens with Waye's vocals and those now familiar guitar and drum runs. "Why have we scribbled lines upon the ground? When will we wash the pavement clean from these…?" The guitar, drums and key instrumental that follows helps to define the emotional nature of the story.

"Persuasion" opens with a completely different guitar sound. It's as if this is a completely different album. It's a nice change. Less full on and more intricate guitar work. In fact the bass really takes the lead here for a while. Waye begins to remind me more and more of Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, especially on this song.

"The Fall of the House of Atreides" starts off with a very deep bass and cool synths followed by some of the best drumming on an album full of rich drumming. This is one of the best song on the album. The synths, heavy drums, lead guitar and even the vocals are top notch.

"The Season Unspoken" is the second best song on the album, right from the opening. The cool synths, soft drums, acoustic guitar and Waye's best vocal, "When winter is lost and spring is in bloom, and summer burns back into fall so soon." The acoustic guitar work is intricate and wonderful. This is the classic rock star of the album. "Don't fade out". You just don't want the acoustic guitar and synths to end.

Bells and chimes herald the opening of "Breathing Lessons". A great mix of Rush and fellow Canadians Tea Party can be heard in the pounding on this song. But the vocals make it original.

Heavy bass, lead electric and power drums do a great job of opening "Young Guns". Memories of adolescence band beginnings, with the kind of magic you remember from the Alarm. The guitars and synths which come later are fantastic. They really drive emotions as the band takes off on another instrumental journey.

"Personal Gods" starts out like an '80s rocker. This one truly has that Glass Tiger pop sound to it.

The electric guitar weaving and epic drums that open "Maiden Voyage (Storm of Being)" set a course which provides a glimpse into where and possibly how far this band can go in the future. They hold nothing back with this haunting melody set to sea. The drums are just fantastic. The vocals are epic this time and so are the lyrics. Definitely an early band magnum opus. They saved the best for last. Those pounding drums that reach towards the climax of the song make Wedgewood the early star of this band. The sound effects and ocean pounding add to the emotion and feeling in the music. You are left completely satisfied that you've taken the journey with them.

Added: February 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2631
Language: english

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