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Cryptic Vision: Of Infinite Possibilities

Florida's Cryptic Vision are back after a 5 year hiatus with their latest platter of progressive rock & metal titled Of Infinite Possibilities, which is the third part of the trilogy "Moments Of Clarity In A World Of Infinite Possibilities". Here in 2012 the band is comprised of Rick Duncan (drums, guitar, keyboards), Todd Plant (vocals, guitar), Sam Conable (bass, vocals), Timothy Keese (guitar, vocals), and Howard Helm (keyboards, vocals), with help on the album from guests David Ragsdale (violin), Shawn Bowen (guitar), John Zahner (keyboards), Gary Schutt (guitar), John Leblanc ( guitar) , and Mike Carello (fretless bass). If you liked their first two studio releases, chances are this latest CD will more than satisfy your thirst for melodic & challenging progressive rock music.

Comparisons to Spock's Beard always seem to come up when listening to Cryptic Vision, but it's not so much that the two bands sound alike, more that they both effectively use catchy melodies and pair that with symphonic arrangements and a flair for epic & dramatic songs. In Cryptic Vision's case, they also are fully capable of injecting some muscle as well, as on the powerful opener, "Singularity", which contains a healthy dose of Dream Theater styled prog-metal. For the most part though, the band mixes soaring melodies with some vintage styled prog, as on the wonderful "Obsolete" or the engaging "Affecting Time", complete with powerful vocals, '70s styled keyboards, crunchy guitar, sinewy Rickenbacker bass, and intricate drum fills. The band dives into bombastic heavy prog-metal and pomp on the dramatic " Flash of Life - part 2" (Dream Theater meets Styx?), approach some of the proggy heights of the legendary Kansas on the rockin' "Other Side", and get all epic on us for the 20-minute, five part title track, which again brings to mind vintage Kansas. Some really tasty keyboard passages on this one, as well as scorching guitar solos, and Plant's vocals are just outstanding, reminding me a little of former Under the Sun guitarist/vocalist Chris Shryack.

Now that Cryptic Vision has wrapped up this trilogy, which really is all about the meaning of and search for 'life', it will be interesting to see where the band goes next. In the meantime, pull out their two previous studio releases and check out the trilogy back to back to back and enjoy all the great music the band has put together. Part three here was well worth the wait.

Track Listing
1. Singularity
2. Starting Gun
3. The Secret
4. Affecting Time
5. Obsolete
6. M Theory
7. Real Magic
8. Lucid Dream
9. Flash of Life - part 2
10. Other Side
11. Infinite Possibilites
a) - Part one
b) - Part two
c) - Part three

Added: September 2nd 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 4492
Language: english

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Cryptic Vision: Of Infinite Possibilities
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-09-02 13:21:31
My Score:

Putting together a conceptual trilogy of albums is no small feat, but when you consider that the storyline in question basically searches out for the meaning of life, well, I'm impressed that Cryptic Vision feel they can wrap it up in under 240 minutes. However as far as part three, Of Infinite Possibilities goes, the most impressive thing is the ever evolving melodic prog that flows from the speakers with every visit. While everything from Kansas to Spock's Beard comes to mind, the band I keep finding myself thinking of as Cryptic Vision weave their complex structures is Presto Ballet, with the everlasting brightness of the music being similar in approach to much of what the PB's do. Also in the same way, Of Infinite Possibilities has a knack of pulling together intricately constructed songs, give them weighty lyrics and still leave them as reasonably accessible prog workouts that will satisfy lovers of most traditional seventies prog, while still appealing to those who like their progressive music to remain about melody in the way Kansas and Styx always did.

There is a long and impressive guest list involved on this album, with David Ragsdale (Kansas) being amongst the most high profile, however at no point do Cryptic Vision slide into "project" mode, always sounding like a true, complete band, with the stunning keyboard work from Rick Duncan (who also provides drums and guitars) and Howard Helm knitting neatly with the twin guitar attack that is completed by Tim Keese. Add to that bass work from Sam Conable that consistently roams around the melody lines, while refusing to lose focus and sumptuous vocals courtesy of a certain Mr Plant... Todd Plant that is, and Cryptic Vision are a multi-talented, but singularly focused group. Fittingly the album kicks off with "Singularity", setting its stall out early as an album that transfixes through impressive musicianship, but remains on the right side of flash through carefully constructed and arranged songs. That's not to say that killer chops aren't in evidence, just listen to phenomenal 20 minutes closing title track for proof that when the mood takes them CV can stretch out, let loose and impress the hell out of you. Even then though the song is king with beautiful, emotional passages breaking up the blistering guitar solos and playful keyboard bursts. If there was to be a criticism of this release, it would arrive in the shape of two comments. Firstly things can be just ever so slightly samey across the whole album, although that is just a minor quibble, while the second point of contention would be the inability of Cryptic Vision to blend some more brooding atmospheres into their music, with the ever pervading upbeat attack sometimes needing something just a tinge less jolly to balance it.

Of Infinite Possibilities is a cracking melodic prog album and well worth a lengthy, five year wait for its arrival.

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