Time Machine

Picture of Time Machine

Project: Time Scanning

Time Machine - Project: Time Scanning ©1993 Lucretia Records
1. Back Across The Centuries
2. 753 A.C. Ab Urbe Condita
3. Holy Man
4. Lovers’ Night In Venice
5. Medieval Lady
6. Past And Future
7. History
8. 753 A.C. Ab Urbe Condita (instrumental Version)
9. A Nightmare (gothic Edit)

Time Machine are a melodic progressive metal band from Italy that have been around for quite some time. Over the past decade they have released a lot of impressive progressive metal.

Project: Time Scanning was originally released as an EP in Japan. It was followed by second Japanese EP “Dungeons of the Vatican.” The re-issue of Project: Time Scanning includes the original EP and two bonus tracks.

Time Machine can be compared with Dream Theater and any number of other progressive metal bands. They have all the elements: odd time signatures and changes, crunchy riffing guitars, keyboards, operatic vocals and so on. The difference is that where others are clones, Time Machine is quality. The compositions are very tight with a lot of attention paid to the details. The level of technical excellence is head and shoulders above the run of the mill for progressive metal. It leaves some a little cold since it is so precise, but others love the razor edge walked by this band.

The music is solid progressive metal with neo-classical leanings in the typical Italian style. The singer has a bit of an accent, but no more than what you would expect from having heard other Italian prog bands. Even for such an early release, there is a cohesive feel to the songs. The variety is really pleasing. This disc shows the amazing potential of this band and really promises great things for the future, things that were delivered in spades on Act II: Galileo, perhaps one of the greatest progressive metal concept discs ever written. For those who can’t get enough of the majestic, epic power prog, this disc is sure to please.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 04/2001

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Act II: Galileo

Time Machine - Act II: Galileo ©1995 Lucretia Records
1. New Frontiers
2. Stargazer
3. Rage
4. I Hold The Key (into The Void)
5. Colours Of The Night
6. Mother
7. Let Me Cry
8. Justice
9. Fear
10. Burning In The Wind
11. Aperite!
12. Dungeons Of The Vatican
13. Cold Flames Of Faith
14. Suspicions
15. White Collars
16. Prisoner Of Dreams (condemned)
17. Black Rose
18. I Can’t Smile
19. Silent Cry

This is easily the best progressive metal disc of 1995. It is possibly the best progressive metal disc to ever come out of Italy. It is one of the finest progressive metal discs I have ever heard.

The booklet that comes with the disc explains the basic premise of the concept behind this album:

“On June 22nd 1633 the Inquisition in Rome read the sentence that condemned Galileo Galilie, guilty of heresy, to imprisonment. Galileo, at the age of seventy, was humiliated by being forced to disavow his studies and far-reaching achievements to which he devoted his entire life. In fact, it was Galileo who gave birth to the age of experimental science. By prosecuting Galileo, the Holy Office and the by then society condemned the freedom of intellect in the progress of arts and sciences, the passive non-acceptance of mystical and philosophical limits and, most important, they condemned the superior value of individuality.”

As you can see by the track listing, the concept is broken into several movements carrying forward the story of the above synopsis. This album received a lot of praise and a lot of criticism when it was released. Many people raved about how well it told a story of the narrowminded church and the injustices it visited on Galileo and others down through the centuries. Others criticized its depiction of religion. Whatever your take on the lyrical content, the album still stands as a very well done concept. The single composition of nine songs are broken into several smaller tracks which do what concept albums are supposed to do. They flow and fit seamlessly. You get the feeling that you have heard one very extended track that has gone through several movements.

The lyrics are sung with deep feeling and convey the emotion of the particular part very well, whether of Galileo or his accusers. You feel the tensions and convictions on both sides. The band had picked up a new vocalist following the release of the EP prior to this album. The new singer, Folco Orlandini, sounds a great deal like Andre Matos of Angra. He has the same range and power. The musical arrangements are also geared toward conveying the emotion of the moment. The guitars and keyboards play off one another walling the vocalist in sound and propelling the story forward. The music flows seamlessly from sweeping symphonic passages to heavy, crushing power and back without sounding forced or disjointed. Whether you are listening to the keyboards and guitarist duel, or to the saxophone wail plaintively, the music gives an aural imagery all its own. There are no adequate “sounds like” comparisons for this album.

Progressive metal bands frequently attempt concept albums with varying results. For every good one, there are three that fail to pull off the complex marriage between music and story. This one, however, gets everything right and raises the bar for the next act. If you are a fan of progressive metal, you simply must own this disc. If you are a fan of concept albums regardless of musical genre, you must own this disc. This is a stunning disc, masterful on every level.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 04/2001

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Eternity Ends

Time Machine - Eternity Ends ©1998 Lucretia Records
1. End Of Darkness
2. Falling Star
3. I, The Subversive Nazarene
4. Hidden Pain
5. Eternity Ends
6. I Believe Again
7. Desert Of Souls
8. Behind The Cross
9. Sphynx (The Witness)
10. When The Night Surrounds Me
11. Pilatus
12. Dark Again

After releasing a demo that didn’t go anywhere (Shade of Time), Time Machine returned with yet another singer, Nick Fortarezza, and released another solid album.

The style has changed again. It is still melodic and progressive, but it really reaches for the limits and boundaries of the progressive style. A Spanish, jazzy flair is given to much of the music. It has a definite Mediterranean feel to it. The added elements make this disc another very good offering from a band that has had its up and downs.

This disc deals with some fairly deep religious themes, as did Act II: Galileo. This time it comes from the other side of the coin and looks more through the eyes of Jesus Christ. Again, the words are sensitively and thoughtfully written. The songs are sung with emotion and conviction. One thing that has not changed throughout the numerous incarnations of Time Machine is their commitment to serious song writing. I wouldn’t classify this as a concept disc, but the songs do fit well together. The central themes of the songs are brought off very well.

Once more, the music is well executed. Lots of power and drive here. The bass thunders along to shake the walls and the keys provide a nice backdrop for the guitars and vocals to do their thing. This is a very well done progressive metal disc that spills over into the realms of power metal often enough to please fans who like a bit more crunch in their prog. It also has enough jazzy, hippy flair to carry it beyond the bounds of simply prog or power. The sound on this disc is wonderfully refreshing. Time Machine continue to mature and grow as a band.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 05/2001

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Evil

Time Machine - Evil ©2001 Lucretia Records
1. Gerona
2. Where's My Heaven?
3. Army Of The Dead
4. Kiss Of Fire
5. Ecclesia Spiritualis
6. Neghentropia
7. Evil Lies
8. Angel Of Death
9. Hailing Souls
10. Silent Bells

Fans of Time Machine have always looked to Act II: Galileo as the standard by which all other Time Machine discs are judged. With the release of Evil, that standard may change. This is a fantastic disc that continues Time Machine's fascination with the concept of Good vs. Evil. As concept discs go, there are few of the caliber that are released by Time Machine, and this one is their best to date.

The music has a grand, epic feel to it. The sound is of cathedral proportions. By that I mean that when it is hushed, it is hushed as a cathedral will be when all within are silent, awaiting the next rush of activity. When it is aggressive and frenzied, it is on a very large scale. The sound boxes you in and keeps you enthralled for the whole ride. It is easy to picture the huge marble columns and grand arches of sound that are depicted on this disc. This is a very ambitious disc and Time Machine pull it off with style and grace.

The vocal melodies are several steps ahead of Galileo and the other Time Machine discs. The vocal melodies are tightly woven to fit the music. Thanks to guest vocalists, there are some great harmonies on this disc. There are several layers to the singing at all times. The lyrics are plentiful and very carefully written to fit the overall theme of the disc. The lyrics are exploratory, probing and thought provoking. The music follows in the same fashion. This disc is more progressive than it is metal, but it demonstrates the very great strength of song writing that Time Machine has consistently demonstrated in the past.

This disc is one of the best progressive metal discs to be released in 2001. It is one of the top ten concept discs of that year, if not the best of the year. Once more Time Machine makes my list of Must Have progressive metal discs.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 04/2002

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