Rebel Wheel, The: We are in the Time of Evil Clocks
So far 2010 is off to a great start when it comes to progressive rock in Canada. There have been some fine releases this year and you can add the latest from The Rebel Wheel to the list as it is a superb album. We are in the Time of Evil Clocks is the follow up to their 2007 release Diagramma. The band's personal has changed over the years and on the new release it includes David Campbell (guitars, keys, vocals, bass), Angie MacIvor (saxes, vocals, keys), Aaron Clark (drums, percussion) and Claude Prince (bass), with only Campbell and MacIvor held over from the last album.
To my ears the band plays pure progressive rock flavoured with elements of jazz, fusion, metal and funk. This album completely wowed me from the very first listen and one can tell a tremendous amount of work went into it. This is progressive in the truest sense of the word. Constantly shifting tempos, dynamic arrangements and aural assaults on the senses that will take you by complete surprise. Lets just say there is a lot going on here and while you will hear elements of Zappa, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and even modern progressive bands like The Mars Volta, Rebel Wheel do not tread so much where others have gone before but have followed their own path where obscure dissonance and wild complexity come head to head with melodic progressive rock making this a richly varied and multifaceted release.
This is one talented band and their instrumental prowess is demonstrated early and often. The keyboard play is a definite highlight as is the diverse guitar playing of Campbell. He proves to be an excellent player providing tasty rhythms, gentle atmospheric textures, blistering leads and strangely dissonant chord structures. The music is quite dark matching the album's loose theme of an uneasy and malevolent future for humanity.
The album gets off to a wonderful start with the title track as angular guitar chords and a fabulous rhythm section gives way to acoustic rhythms and melodic vocals. The intriguingly titled "Klak" shows just how diverse the band is as ominous darker sections mix well with more melodic parts, including some tasty sax by MacIvor. Also check out the jazzy guitar lines in "Wordplay", where a quieter section and an ultra cool synth solo morph into choppy guitar rhythms and interesting drum work. I should also add the vocals of MacIvor are very good as she has a soulful and passionate voice. The atmospheric "Settling Of Bones" conveys an aura of sadness and the echo guitar effect works well.
The album's best song has to be the thirty minute "The Discovery Of Witchcraft", a seven part epic of immense proportions with stunning instrumental play and a diversity of moods and musical soundscapes that will leave you breathless.
The Rebel Wheel takes the listener on a wild ride, creating one of the most adventurous albums I have heard this year. I have no doubt We are in the Time of Evil Clocks will be right up there with the best of 2010 come year end. It is that good and I urge all fans of progressive music to give it a spin as this is one album that deserves to be heard. Highly recommended.
1. We Are In The Time Of Evil Clocks (6:30)
2. Klak (5:31)
3. Wordplay (8:21)
4. Scales Of The Ebony Fish (5:33)
5. Settling Of Bones (4:52)
6. The Discovery Of Witchcraft (30:26)
7. Evil Clocks 2 (2:47)
Added: September 14th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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|Rebel Wheel, The: We are in the Time of Evil Clocks
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-09-14 16:49:48
Complex Canadian Prog Rock outfit, The Rebel Wheel, have released a very cinematic, dark and sometimes aggressive CD entitled, We Are in the Time of Evil Clocks, out now on 10T Records. A long name, yes, but the title gives you a good insight to what is contained within. This band twists and turns with odd-meter tempoed rants incased in genre-blending Progressive Rock, filled with both female and male vocals that serve as a vehicle to plot out their soundscapes, haunting, stirring and beautiful all at the same time.
Filled with dissonant and intense flavors, along with angelic vocals coming and going throughout this third full-length release, The Rebel Wheel have painted quite an intriguing tapestry. The almost 30 minute in length suite called "The Discovery of Witchcraft", takes up more than half of the entire CD and is delivered in 7 parts. It is an eclectic, chilling opus filled with heavy Prog Rock ideals, tinged with an almost Folk-like element that melds into a Jazzy-experimental almost trippy feel.
The dark and mystical element is very well represented throughout "We Are in the Time of Evil Clocks" giving the listener a very King Crimson-ish vibe. Songs like "Klak" and "Scales of the Ebony Fish" hark back to the early days of English Prog Rock with The Rebel Wheel throwing in some nice Fusiony-shred guitar passages along with Saxophone and Synthesizer styling's for good measure. The musicianship here is excellent. Songs are very avant-garde, taking well more than one go through to grab a hold of and are quite "spacey" at times, but that is what this style of expression is all about.
The Rebel Wheel have delivered quite an ambitious record here and if you are a fan of the more experimental Prog Rock as opposed to the more straight laced fare, then you should enjoy We Are in the Time of Evil Clocks, it is a challenging effort.
|Rebel Wheel, The: We are in the Time of Evil Clocks
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-29 15:13:05
It's been 2 years since Diagramma, but The Rebel Wheel have lost not one bit of momentum with the release of their latest CD We Are In the Time of Evil Clocks, another fine collection of progressive rock tinged with bits of metal and jazz-fusion.
While the bulk of We Are In the Time of Evil Clocks is built around the mammoth 30-minute closing epic "The Discovery of Witchcraft" (itself a wonderful 7 part suite that takes the listener through all sorts of musical journeys, and will no doubt be a highlight for many), there's plenty of other wonders in store for fans here. Opening title-cut is an angular, complex rocker, owing as much to King Crimson, Gentle Giant,Frank Zappa, and Van Der Graaf Generator as it does to The Mars Volta. Nice use of stabbing sax, keyboard, and guitar explorations here, not to mention some incredibly beefy bass riffs. The metallic "Klak" combines jarring heavy rock with atmospheric prog, like a head on collision between Red-era King Crimson and classic Genesis, while the moody "Wordplay", with its cunning use of female vocals, sax, and funky bass lines, offers up a wide variety of styles into its 8+ minute length. You can hear the Crimson influence again on the menacing "The Scales of the Ebony Fish", complete with ominous keyboards, throbbing bass, mysterious vocals, and biting guitar lines, and the eerie "Settling of Bones" has an almost folk-jazz flavor, thanks to Angie McIvory's vocals, which gives the track an ethereal quality.
There's a dark quality to We Are In the Time of Evil Clocks that many are going to find quite engaging. Whether you like the classic prog era or some of the more modern sounds, there's a nice combination of both here that makes for a very enjoyable listen. The blending of jazzy sax throughout also works wonders, as it seems to combat the symphonic and metallic elements quite nicely and create some tension. All told, We Are In the Time of Evil Clocks is one highly rated release that you'll need to seek out this year for sure.
And who says there's not plenty of challenging prog coming out of Canada?
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