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Time Horizon: Transitions

Having released their debut album, Living Water, in 2011, I had begun to wonder if Christian melodic Prog outfit Time Horizon had ceased to be. Thankfully the suggestively titled Transitions, which saw the light of day at the end of 2015 proves otherwise. Still revolving round the core duo of Ralph Otteson (keys and vocals) and Bruce Gaetke (drums and lead vocals), the line-up is now completed by guitarist Dave Miller and bassist Allen White. However Transitions finds the quartet surrounded by a whole host of guests and helpers, with among many others, no less than Tony Kaye, Jake Livgren and Billy Sherwood helping out, the latter also mixing and producing the album.

Anyone who was lucky enough to catch the Time Horizon debut will know that while they bill themselves as prog, what's actually going down here is an AOR, rock, pomp, prog crossover where melody and memorability are more important than sheer virtuosity. In many ways it leaves Transitions as an album which could draw favourable comparisons to John Payne era Asia, UK prog maestros Arena or indeed, classic pompers Magnum. In my book those bands make for high benchmarks and that Time Horizon live up to the expectations they themselves create, is to their immense credit. Everywhere you turn the selections simply drip with melodic hooks that bite in deep and convince without fail. First impressions are favourable, but repeat visits reap the richest rewards as the classy instrumental "Water Girl" lays its emotions bare, or sparkling nine minute "Prisoner" sets the impressive musicianship free. However it's the opening trio of "Only One", "Only Through Faith" and "Only Today" which go a long way to illustrating the phenomenal manner in which Otteson's keyboards and Miller's guitars intertwine, the duo pushing both together and apart to create a real tapestry of melodies and ideas which hit repeatedly, and will real force.

As with most albums operating in the Christian sphere, some may find the lyrical content a little off putting and yet, as someone with no particular faith, but respect for those who do, I can't argue that the musical and lyrical themes aren't uplifting, they undoubtedly are and it's one of Transitions main strengths. So combine superb song writing to skilled musicianship, add in a classy mix and beautiful cover art from the most under rated artist around right now, Ken Westphal, and Time Horizon have provided a record that delivers on every count. They may have called this release Transitions, but don't be fooled, this album is the finished article, and no mistake.

Track Listing
1. Only One Way
2. Only Through Faith
3. Only Today
4. Prisoner
5. The Moment is Here
6. About Time
7. You're All I Need
8. River of Sorrows
9. Water Girl
10. Love is Here

Added: May 3rd 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Time Horizon online
Hits: 2391
Language: english

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Time Horizon: Transitions
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-05-03 17:58:11
My Score:

Time Horizon is an American progressive rock band having formed around 2004. They didn't release their first album Living Water until 2011 but have recently put out their sophomore effort Transitions, a joint release on Melodic Revolution and Angelic Noise Records.

In the band are Ralph Otteson (keyboards, vocals), Allen White (electric 5 string bass, fretless bass, upright acoustic bass, bass pedals), Dave Miller (electric, acoustic rhythm and lead guitar) and Bruce Gaetke (drums, vocals). There have been a couple of line-up changes since their first album; exit bassist Steve Gourly and guitarist Dave Dickerson and enter White and Miller. Guests include Tony Kaye, Billy Sherwood, Jake Livgren, David Wallimann plus a few more for good measure.

The band play a mixture of melodic rock and neo prog with the emphasis on catchy tunes and excellent instrumental interplay. Guitar and keyboards trade solo spots often filling the landscape with tasty leads throughout these ten tracks. The vocals are also excellent so nothing to complain about in that department.

The smooth neo prog of "Only One" begins the disc in fine fashion. Shimmering keyboard rhythms and melodic lead vocals is the norm. If you enjoy Billy Sherwood solo and Saga this one should hit the sweet spot. On "Only Today" a heavier keyboard run leads to soaring lead guitar and moodier interludes. "Prisoner" varies from moody and atmospheric to heavier neo and in the melodic "The Moment Is Here" Saga seems to be a prime influence. "You're All I Need" is a melodic rock fist pumping anthem while "River Of Sorrows" features moodier guitar, sweet electric piano and an emotive vocal delivery. On the last track "Love Is Here" violin accentuated cascades of orchestration and pretty guitar end the set with some delightful symphonic prog.

Transitions is certainly recommended for those who enjoy melodic rock and neo. It might not be completely original, very little is these days, but it's a fine slice of progressive rock and is a disc I will return to again in the near future. Hopefully Time Horizon will continue to make great music.

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