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Cryptic Vision: In A World

In A World is the follow-up to 2004's Moments of Clarity from Florida's Cryptic Vision. Blending elements of symphonic prog rock, AOR, and dashes of prog-metal into their sound, Cryptic Vision have once again created an album that will appeal to not only fans of vintage bands like Yes, Kansas, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Toto, Ambrosia, and ELP, but also modern groups such as Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, and The Flower Kings. Formed by the nucleus of multi-instrumentalist/producer Rick Duncan and singer/guitarist Todd Plant (both of whom have worked with many mainstream acts), Cryptic Vision is rounded out by Sam Connable on bass & vocals, Timothy Keese on guitar & vocals, and Howard Helm on keyboards & vocals. Guest musicians include Kansas violinist David Ragsdale, Spock's Beard guitarist Alan Morse, former Iced Earth guitarist Ralph Santolla, and a few others. Overall In a World is a stunningly rich prog rock album, littered with soaring melodies, catchy hooks, hard rock guitars, and symphonic prog rock arrangements.

The opening 16-minute title track kicks things off in epic fashion, complete with fantastic vocals from Plant, intricate guitar & keyboard passages, and lyrics dealing with the creation of the world and why we are all here. "Common Ground" and "Merkaba" are great AOR/prog anthems, again with Plant's soaring vocals leading the way, alongside some great keyboard work from Duncan and Helm. Listen closely too for the velvety smooth violin from Ragsdale, who as always turns songs to gold whenever he pops up. "All Along" recalls 80's Kansas as well as Spock's Beard, while "The Space in Between" reminds a little of Under the Sun, especially in the vocal department as well as the effective use of acoustic guitars amidst the electric thunder.

The band dives into crunchy prog-metal on the energetic "I Am the Energy", complete with ripping guitar, organ, and bass solos, and invoke memories of late 70's era Styx on the addicting "Point of View". The 10-minute gem "Power to Mend" is a dramatic and powerful prog-rocker, with Plant's aggressive vocals leading the charge of stabbing synthesizers, chugging guitars, and driving rhythms. Toto fans will love the catchy hooks of "Find", while "The Balance" once again returns to 70's progville and features an array of vintage keyboard sounds & solos, as well as some furious guitar leads. The majestic and symphonic piece "This Dream Part II/In a World Reprise" closes out this very remarkable album in grand fashion, with multi-layered vocals, acoustic guitars, and plenty of keyboard orchestrations.

With repeated listens, In a World reveals many hidden nuances, and shows a band that is quickly becoming one of the stars of the modern prog rock scene.

Track Listing
1. In a World (16:22)
2. This Dream Part I (1:06)
3. Common Ground (4:37)
4. Merkaba (3:14)
5. All Along (5:09)
6. The Space in Between (4:58)
7. I Am the Energy (4:10)
8. Point of View (4:49)
9. Power to Mend (10:03)
10. Find (4:09)
11. The Balance (8:42)
12. This Dream Part II/In a World (Reprise) (5:03)
Total Time: 72:22

Added: July 23rd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Cryptic Vision Website
Hits: 5466
Language: english

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