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Avian: From the Depths of Time

The latest project from journeyman vocalist Lance King, Avian's From the Depths of Time, isn't officially available until later this month. But in an effort to promote goodwill among the prog-metal intelligentsia, King set up shop in the vendor's area at ProgPower USA VI for his Nightmare Records label with plenty of advance copies to sell. While Avian is not quite as heavy as King's other project, Pyramaze (which also has a new album coming out this fall), or as immediately accessible as his work with Balance of Power, some songs can't help but echo those bands - simply because of King's gigantic James LaBrie-meets-Tobias Sammet vocal presence. For example, "Time and Space Part I: City of Peace" oozes mid-tempo drama (a la Balance of Power), while the memorable "Black Masquerade" could have been a bonus Pyramaze track.

Guitarist Yan Leviathan recruited King and Pyramaze keyboardist Jonah Weingarten for Avian, then nabbed ex-Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson to play on and co-produce From the Depths of Time with King. The album's guitar solos are courtesy of Roger Moore (Gemini, Arcana, Cains Alibi). The rewards of this collaboration can be reaped almost immediately with "As the World Burns," which kicks off the album after the brief mood-setting piece "Through the Past and Into Forever." A galloping monster in the vein of Iron Maiden, Hammerfall, Edguy and Blind Guardian, "As the World Burns" emerges as one of the album's best songs, followed by "Black Masquerade," the stinging "Single Blade of Vengeance" and the ballad "Time Is All We Need."

A few tracks ("Queen of the Insane," "The Fear") don't hold up to the high standards King has set for himself in the past, but From the Depths of Time is nevertheless a solid entry in this year's melodic prog-metal/power-metal market. Here's hoping Avian isn't just a one-off project.

Track Listing:
1) Through the Past And Into Forever
2) As the World Burns
3) Black Masquerade
4) The Fear
5) Final Frontier
6) Across the Millions
7) Time and Space Part I: City of Peace
8) Single Blade of Vengeance
9) Blinding Force
10) Time Is All We Need
11) Queen of the Insane
12) Last Moon
13) The Depths of Time

Added: October 3rd 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Avian Web Site
Hits: 4078
Language: english

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