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Thought Chamber - Psykerion CD (album) cover

PSYKERION

Thought Chamber

 

Progressive Metal

3.87 | 87 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Second Life Syndrome
4 stars They might not be the same band anymore, technically speaking, but Thought Chamber has done me a service with their new album "Psykerion". Yes, indeed, these guys have been one of the few progressive metal bands this year that have reminded me that prog metal isn't dead in the water when it comes to invention and creativity. "Psykerion" is rather unique in many ways, so the first rule of listening to this album is to forget other prog metal albums from this year.

Thought Chamber has swapped out a few members, now containing a new bassist in Jeff Plant, a new keyboardist in Bill Jenkins, and a new drummer in Mike Haid. These three guys, along with former members Michael Harris (guitars) and Ted Leonard (vocals), have crafted an amazingly genius prog metal album with hefty doses of space rock, psychedelia, and epic structures. Somehow they pull of the latter even though many of the tracks are around three minutes in length. Indeed, they get right to the point on most of the tracks, never messing around, but instead gives us incredible jams and crazy passages galore. Admirable indeed.

Well, let me be more specific. First of all, the guitars are heavy and deep, and feature outstanding riffs and some excellent solos. Yet, the keyboards are spacey and ethereal. These two instruments play off of each other so well, and give this album a vast range of tone. On the other hand, the keys are nothing normal. They may have a spacey tone, but they also have a wacky, unearthly vibe that could only be likened to Haken, in my opinion. So, add to all this some beautifully composed bass lines (including some solos) and fantastic drums that are never overbearing, and you have a recipe for success.

Now, I know that Ted Leonard has been busy of late. He's got Spock's Beard and Affector on his plate, as well as Enchant. But this guy can sing! He has shown it time and again, and I think this album may almost rival his Spock's Beard outing this year in relation to his vocal performance. His beautiful upper range fits perfectly with the sci-fi tone of the music, but his entire range is used on this album, too.

So, incredible music and terrific vocals are certainly trademarks of this album. However, I must confess that I can't get into the lyrical content. It's some sort of sci-fi story, but I haven't found it overly interesting. Maybe this is because the music is just so darn distracting, I don't know. So, for me, the lyrical content is somewhat negligible here, and so I can't fully connect.

Regardless, however, this album is a must-hear for prog metal fans. The complexity and the eccentricity of the music is something that must be heard by any serious fan, and I will say with certainty that this album has been worth the six year wait that Thought Chamber provided.

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |

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