Wednesday, 10 February 2010

TIME CODE ALPHA - Freakshow (CD)

While waiting for ACT to get their thumbs out and release a follow up to the appropriately entitled “Silence”, please welcome Time Code Alpha. Ok, in all honesty, Time Code Alpha shall be seen as no substitute for ACT, we are talking a new highly interesting band with its own sound but in the same genre here. Time Code Alpha features the undisputed talents of former Biscaya singer Mads Clausen, guitarist Peter Lazar and bass player Ken Sandin who has been seen in bands like Alien, DaVinci, Transport League etc. One of the reasons I compare the band to ACT is because they share the same type of theatrical side to their progressive/symphonic music. We’re talking musical drama here, people. This album is like a movie, with each song going through phases, building up tensions and releasing them. I’m quite impressed with the intriguing arrangements and the way the each song is going through so many different moods and motions. I do hear some vintage Yes in places, but it’s all very much updated. In the dark and heavy “Face The Ground” they build up the same type of melancholia as Evergrey, with Mads even sounding a bit reminiscent of Tom Englund. At times they move in the same terrain as dark prog-masters Pain Of Salvation, like in the, at times, almost dissonant “You Have To Understand” and the totally outstanding and powerful “Illusion”, which also features some small almost Saga-esque titbits. Just when you’re almost drowning in darkness and heavy emotions, in comes the uplifting (at least musically) “Do We Care At All” like a light in the dark. Despite all its chewy musical complexities, the album does have something of a hit in the hum-along-chorus-rocker “Driving My Car”. The production by the band and mix by Andy Laroque are impeccable with a clear, ambient and yet very heavy sound, plus all nice and well incorporated effects that fly by when you least expect it. This is nothing short of a progressive masterpiece by a band I’m already looking forward to hearing more of.
Besides the above musicians the album features a number of guests such as drummer Svetlan Råket (Zello), lead guitarists Andy LaRoque, Johan Randén, Mattias Moberg, Patrik Hansson, singers Angelica Olausson and Fredrika Clausen.
/Janne Stark

Genre: Progressive hard rock
Label: Spinfox
Country: Sweden
Year: 2009

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