Time Horizon: Living Water
Time Horizon is based out of Northern California, and is made up of Ralph Otteson, on vocals and keyboards; Bruce Gaetke, on drums and lead vocals; Steve Gourley, on bass guitar; and Dave Dickerson on lead and rhythm guitar. The members are all accomplished musicians with years of experience in the studio and on stage, along with backgrounds full of family members who have made music over the years.
I found out about the band through their participation on Christian Prog, CPR - Volume III. I searched out the band after I first heard their song, 'Life Fantastic' on that great compilation LP. It was only recently that they released their debut album, which I will review here. Thanks to Ralph Otteson for sending me the demo CD.
The band is a strong supporter of the Living Water International's program that supports efforts to help communities acquire clean water to areas of the globe where it is not readily available. The proceeds from the first 1,000 copies of Living Water sold will go to support Living Water International's efforts. Living Water International can be reached through their website at: http://www.water.cc/.
If you like the message delivered by Neal Morse and other spiritual artists, you will enjoy this album. It is full of those inspirational and spiritual lyrics with wonderful music supporting. If you enjoyed CPR Volume 3, please experience the full magic of this band's ability by buying this album. Your support for clean water should be enough of a reason to purchase the album, and the music is a wonderful way to experience the message delivered within this CD. Ken Westphal's cover art is simply amazing!
'Life Fantastic' opens with cool bass and then those keys which take me right back to the opening keys off INXS' 'Don't Change'. A wonderful reminder, whether intentional or not. But that is where the similarities end. This song takes a very original course after some cool majestic keys provide a further opening salute. Then the guitars take over to set the stage for Gaetke's opening vocals, "You're the one who made creation and the one who made the earth". Excellent keys and guitar work follow, along with strong bass and solid drums that support Gaetke well. This is the song that attracted me to the band and its sound, and I still think it's one of the best on the album, but there are more great surprises ahead. "You bring us new hope. Life fantastic!" Off to a very strong start.
'Living Water Prelude' is a great vocal harmony chorus introduction to the theme of the album. Excellent lyrics and words of praise.
'Age of Wonders' opens with some very cool keys and melodies, before the bass, deeper organ sounds, and drums join in. Then Gaetke, "Wonders we have seen. I wonder how we fail to believe in life beyond ourselves, miracles revealed, messages received". Then the chorus of voices joins in, "This is the age of wonders". Excellent keys and guitar work.
'Time Horizon' is my favorite song on the album, because of Otteson's excellent keyboard work. The best on this album, and some of the best keyboard sounds I've heard all year. The mechanized vocals add to the mystery and dramatic power of the lyrics being delivered, "You have the freedom to choose, you are not a machine". Then Gaetke adds in a powerful human response, "Carry me. Only you can carry me". The synth – like keys that surround are awesome. I didn't want this song to end.
Then, heavy drums slowly open 'Forgiveness', before inspired bass, guitars, and drums are slowly added to build momentum. Gaetke sings, "Here we stand again, with our shaking breath too numb to feel". The pipe organ like keys make it sound like it was performed in a church, making the sound even more majestic. The lifting guitar rhythms support well.
Excellent Rush – like drums open 'Feel the Change', before those cool keys join in again to provide just the right majestic sound. Gaetke sings more inspirational words of praise set to Kansas - like melodies and rhythm. The interaction between Otteson's keys and Dickerson's and Gourley's guitar work is just amazing. Gaetke's drum never misses a beat.
'Me Chili Caliente' is my second favorite track on the album. It's an instrumental piece full of acoustic guitar at the opening that will bring back memories of some of Steve Howe's famous interludes on Yes' albums of the 70s. But there is also a Steve Hackett sound to this piece as well. The Spanish side really picks up momentum and takes this one into second place for me. The perfect interlude. I could have listened to 10 to 15 minutes of this guitar work.
'I Am Not Alone ('Till the Dawn)' opens with those majestic keys again, before blazing guitars and heavy bass mix well with the drum beats to build rhythm and melody. Fantastic consoling words, "I am not alone, you're with me every day". At 8:32 minutes, this is the epic and longest piece on the album. The lyrics are some of the best, on an album full of inspiration.
'Living Water' is the title song and Gaetke sings that chorus alone this time on the opening, set to beautiful acoustic guitar, keys, chimes, and wonderful percussion support. Then the chorus of vocals supports as the song builds.
'Paradise' is the closer, bringing together all of the thoughts and story to a climax. Powerful words set to wonderful music.
1. Life Fantastic
2. Living Water Prelude
3. Age of Wonders
4. Time Horizon
6. Feel the Change
7. Me Chili Caliente
8. I am not alone (Til the Dawn)
9. Living Water
Added: July 20th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band Website
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