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Elysium Theory: Event Horizon

Upstate New York progressive rock band Elysium Theory are back after a quiet few years and unleashing their sophomore release Event Horizon. The band, Daniel Peterson (vocals), Timothy Reid (guitars), Benny Reyes (keyboards), Jeffrey Fister (bass), and Ted Feeney (drums), have done a great job here creating melodic, dramatic modern prog-rock with some metal elements, and chances are if you dug their 2010 debut Modern Alchemy this latest will also be very enjoyable, as the band are maturing right in front of our eyes.

Elysium Theory were always more about the melodies and atmosphere, so rather than create songs that wow the listener with their musical capabilities (though they certainly can and do partake in that at times), the band choose to deliver emotional, textured prog that is all about the songs and the melodies, with the instrumental sections there of course but more as support. Tunes like "Long Count" and "Clockwork Earth" are perfect examples of this, with Peterson really doing a wonderful job on the vocals, the former song being an ultra catchy heavy prog number, and the latter an acoustic guitar based gem with stirring melodies and lovely synth tapestries. "Illuminated" is another atmospheric number, reminding a little of some of Dream Theater's mellower fare, and again with Peterson at the helm soaring over some tasty guitar lines from Reid and more layers courtesy of Reyes. On "Pictures in the Sand", the band takes on a darker tone, with emotional vocals floating through some ripping guitar lines and a dense wall of keyboards, the overall effect not unlike a mix of Riverside, Dream Theater, and Pink Floyd.

"Travellers in Time" again carries over that moodiness that really seems to have taken a hold of many of the tracks here, Peterson again delivering an emotional, passionate performance over understated yet powerful arrangements, Reyes especially crafting some dramatic orchestral synth colors that work really well against the thick guitar riffs and soaring vocals. There's an almost bluesy-metal feel to the odd but enjoyable "Church of the Serpent", as Reyes's grinding organ meets up with Reid's muscular licks, and "Transmission Alpha" is a catchy slice of melodic progressive pop.

That brings us to the 17-minute, four part suite "Cask of Amontillado", which for all you prog fanatics will probably be the highlight of Event Horizon. Feeney's nimble drum work gets things started amidst eerie synth effects and Reid's lilting guitar patterns. Peterson sounds a bit like Saga legend Michael Sadler on this atmospheric epic, which contains some extended instrumental romps, especially on part three "Coat of Arms", before the bombastic finale "The Catacombs" brings the album to a smashing conclusion.

Event Horizon is one of the more emotional and melodic prog-rock albums I've heard in a while, and give credit to Elysium Theory for not just releasing a collection of songs that basically sounds like everyone else or trying to wow us with musical virtuosity with nothing to back it up. These are songs ladies and gentleman, well written and well played, and I say well done.

Track Listing
1. B'AK'TUN 13 (1:47)
2. Long Count (5:48)
3. Clockwork Earth (8:04)
4. Illuminated (5:01)
5. Halo (0:58)
6. Pictures in the Sand (5:56)
7. The Arrival (0:40)
8. Travelers in Time (8:32)
9. Church of the Serpent (5:10)
10. Transmission Alpha (6:10)
Cask of Amontillado
11. I The Insult (4:59)
12. II The Carnival (3:21)
13. III Coat Of Arms (1:22)
14. IV The Catacombs (6:42)

Total Time: 64:38

Added: March 17th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2941
Language: english

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