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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tyranny Of Hours

Tyranny Of Hours

Review by Larry Toering

This is a female fronted progressive rock band from the Pacific Northwest, with a strong metal feel. They are already getting global attention before their self titled debut release. This features the vocals of Michelle Mattair, with guitars, bass and orchestration by Don Graham, along with Larry London on drums and several additional backing musicians. Recorded at Black Diamond studios, this is a full set of well recorded tracks that kick you around from one end of hard rock musical spectrum to the other, with everything from edgy gothic vibes to smooth spiritual Gaelic factors. There is a lot of talent in the PNW, but one thing's for sure, nothing quite as original as this in the hard progressive metal department.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
What Is Free
This is a lovely way to set up the disc, showcasing the beautiful voice of Michelle Mattair. I can't begin to describe that beauty. It's just an amazing sound, and a perfect way to debut here awesome talent. It's about what is free being what survives. How cool, dark and mystical this is.
Above The Salt
Gothic vibes instantly take over, and a contained thrashing controls the background while the vocals proceed to shine. The whole thing gets majestic and the guitars go through some of the most precision runs with pure ease. The vocals come on even stronger before it's over.
Amber
By the first few bars you know this whole song is going to be great, as they go through what seems to be a huge slice of all around perfection here.
Legacy
This goes right over the top as things get mystical again before a machine gun fast riff takes over. But the vocals come in and smooth the whole song out. This is cool stuff in every way, as Mattair pleads for the listener to never let anyone steal his or her dreams. The guitars are once again searing and lightning fast, and the vocals absolutely perfect. This track alone should make any rock fan fall in love with this band.
A Breath with Peace
This is a lovely tune, sung in Gaelic, which makes it all the more interesting. Of course, female vocals are usually best for me when it comes to that. This an absolutely superb touch!
The Hapless Wand

This is an awesome tale of an Alchemist’s magic carpet ride. It’s also about where the whole disc really begins to break through the ear drums. The lyrics here go into some of the best on offer. The same can be said of the guitars.

Transvaal Sphere
Speaking of guitars, this is a killer instrumental that goes perfectly in its place in the set. The build up at the beginning is excellent and you just know it's going to be epic. The backing track is full of just the right touches to make it everything it can be and more. It's obvious by now there is not a second of filler material going on here.
Vain Hope
This brings everything way back up, as they get a little funky, but not too much. It just gets to a fun pace as they spice things up quite a bit with some great effects. There is some major spookiness to this one that really drives it home for me as somehow one of the best tracks on the disc. It also defines their progressive rock factor.
The Warm
This would have to be classified as the most hard core ballad on offer. And, it's another thing of sheer all around beauty.
The Path That Lies Apart
At this point the pace proves to be unstoppable, and the whole set achieves its goal as the vocals go the distance and undeniably hook the ears into a permanent trance. This is completely mesmerizing in every way.
Dark Symphony
There is nothing lost in the speed of things, as this killer time piece takes the trip to its final destiny. They go into some more of the coolest lyrics on this one as well, as the message is to let victory be medicine. And the message sure does heal me, as this is some of the best medicine around.

 

 
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