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Time & Tide : The Water's Edge

Time & Tide open their innings on this 2004 release with a lot of promise, utilizing some dynamic sounds and heavy riffs underpinned by some nice keyboard fills. The immediate thing that cannot be ignored is however, the fact that many of the vocal tracks are sung dangerously out of tune which renders parts of the songs hard to truly appreciate. Compositionally, the guys have got some brilliant ideas with lots of interesting time changes and chops galore and you can tell they are having a blast playing their respective hearts out.

Their main singer and guitarist, Scott Bedard, has a pretty powerful throat and delivers his best when trying to reach the higher registers and sounds good when he attains that final magic note. When he doesn't quite get there however, the resultant problems only exacerbate the fact that he is trying way too hard to make his voice fit the song. Wouldn't it improve things if he made the song fit his voice?

I am not trying to discourage this band as they are quite good in many areas, particularly with their instrumental ability and the clever way they mix things up to keep the songs moving along in the right direction. Long extended guitar solos with some churning keyboards from Steve O'Donnell elevate tracks such as "All" to the top of the list with its anthemic sound and semi arena rock finale that will remind of bands such as Saga or even Pallas. I should also mention that the synth solo in the middle of the 4th track, called "Media" is quite brilliant but is let down badly by the vocals which sound far too strained, as does the next track called "Gemini" which is even worse. "Fortress" is the best example of a song which can demonstrate how capable a singer Scott is as he reaches some dizzy heights but also delivers a nasty curved ball back as it also reveals his limitations with his vocal tuning.

The final track is a mammoth epic of over 31 minutes and features some very challenging music broken down over 7 smaller pieces. The central theme behind this monster track involves all manner of celestial travel, with ones inner being and soul being transported through time and space. The band try to make a bold statement about ones journey though life, with vivid dreams, experiences and other issues so typical of these concept songs but with so many sub pieces devoid of much melody or memorable vocal sections, it begins to drag on for too long. Even the best proponents of these stellar epics often get it wrong and merely muddy the waters with a lot of superfluous twaddle. Apart from a few short instrumental sections which were great, I found this track to be one of the least accomplished and compelling on the whole album.

If you can forgive the all too frequent occasions when the vocals just don't reach their mark, then you might just give these guys the credit they deserve for their song writing skills on their own. Collectively, their sound is pretty convincing and you know they strongly believe in what they do. However, if they want to sell a serious amount of product, they might be best served heading back into the studio and re-mastering the vocals.

Track Details:

1. Wasteland (13.04)
2. Time Away (3.55)
3. All (5.53)
4. Media (6.31)
5. Gemini (4.53)
6. Fortress (4.56)
7. Pilot (31.18)

i) dream of the pilot (8.33)
ii) siren song (3.28)
iii) guidance (3.04)
iv) no stars to guide (3.57)
v) wind and current (6.26)
vi) legends of the seas (1.27)
vii) i am the pilot (4.23)

Added: October 30th 2004
Reviewer: Greg Cummins
Related Link: Bands web site
Hits: 2698
Language: english

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