Six Minute Century - Time capsules 4/5

Reviewed: 6-27-08


1. Under the moonlight
2. The perfect picture
3. One man's dream
4. April 19, 1995
5. Zero hour
6. Guitar concierto
7. Saved in time
8. Heaven's gate
9. Get your wings
10. Seven seas

This debut CD from a Houston quartet is a strong dose of updated American metal, not straying into the extremes of thrash, power metal, overtly-traditional metal, or progressive metal, but finding a solid center point at the heart of all those elements.

Despite its title ('Time capsules'), this is not an overly intricate or progressive CD, but ends up as a combination of Seven Witches (especially in the heavier guitar moments, and some of the Tecchioish vocal lines), Mark Boals (especially in the actual vocals themselves), and Savatage circa 'Edge of thorns' and 'Handful of rain', where the piano songwriting meets the metal. That’s an interesting mix of elements, but with an ultimately straightforward feel (compare to Sacred Dawn reviewed this month, which is more interesting, but in the end not as fully satisfying to me). The band combines all those elements well, and you are left with something that has plenty of metal bite, a lot of delicate melody, and some really driving vocals that propel the songs. Chuck Williams has an incredibly impressive set of pipes which are on strong display here.

“Under the moonlight” conjures up songs like Dream Theater’s “Pull me under”, if were a little more stripped down, while “Perfect picture” treads more on the more melodic side of the above referenced spectrum with a strong refrain. “April 19, 1995" searingly deals with the Oklahoma City bombing, and the emotions are brought to another level by the piercing, passionate vocals that command your attention. “Guitar concerto” is a beautifully classically illustrated guitar solo that’s a very nice counterpoint to the metal aggression. Overall, there’s just a great blend of those solid, crunchy metal riffs with really good melodies and potent vocals, and you are constantly kept in the songs with the deft focus. The band sums up their effort with a well done cover of TNT’s “Seven seas”.

The band played at least one 2008 date with ASKA, and that highlights that there is once again a pretty strong Texas metal connection burgeoning from the land of Helstar and Pantera.




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