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Cryptic Vision - In A World CD (album) cover


Cryptic Vision


Heavy Prog

3.40 | 46 ratings

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4 stars Invoking the spirit of 70's bands Yes and Kansas as well as more contemporary artists Spock's Beard and Dream Theater Cryptic Vision is out to prove that you can create well made accessible prog in this day and age. I find it refreshing that the band doesn't resort to noise, long electronic parts or have to change its time signature every 15 measures to prove the music is intelligent, sophisticated or progressive. On this release this is now a band as the first CD was more of solo project between vocalist Todd Plant and Drummer Rick Duncan. This CD adds the talents of Tim Keese guitars and vocals, Sam Conable bass and vocals and Howard Helm (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Steinhardt Moon) on keyboards and vocals.

People might use the word derivative and I won't argue the influences behind the band. The question is are they being derivative to copy another band or are they building on the influences? My answer with this band and this recording is the latter. The album starts off with the 16 minute title epic track In a World. This piece has several movements to it both vocally and instrumentally. Todd Plant sings some very emotional and spiritual lyrics reminiscent of Steve Walsh and Dennis De Young. I said it in another review I'll say it again Todd Plant has a great voice in a world of really bad prog singers. If that is AOR than fine I am a fan of AOR and proud of it. I would rather be a fan of that than something like the vocalist of the Tangent who's voice is grating and silly in parts. The piece also contains a good violin solo by David Ragsdale. The piece ends up with a very emotional climax and leads into the second song an acoustic song called The Dream Pt 1.

This is not a ballad but a segue form the first number to the third Common Ground and fourth, Merkaba, an instrumental. These two pieces really builds on what Kansas tried to create many years ago with some really nice instrumental hard rock parts built around a really good song. Merkaba is a high energy piece that Kansas would stick into a middle of song like Miracles out of Nowhere or Myriad.

The next part of the CD moves into a more modern sounding progressive rock. All Along, The Space In Between and I am the Energy are reminiscent of mid 90's Spock's Beard. Very emotional vocals over some power guitar or keyboard with some moving instrumental bridges and good solos. Power to Mend is a very powerful song cutting guitar and Hammond parts along with great vocal line.

Point of View is the only song I don't really like. It's not bad but a very average song compared to the rest. It does have another great violin solo by Ragsdale in it so I can't just say filler. Power to Mend is a song that took me a long time to like in fact it wasn't till I saw them live that I really appreciated it. The vocal line that accompanies the words "We have the Power to mend We have the Will to Survive" is a little sing songy to me but the rest of the music and harmonies are outstanding. Very Yes like in parts of the vocals this is maybe their most ambitious song on the CD.

Find, The Balance and The Dream Pt II /In a World Reprise end the CD with some very good progy parts. Great Keyboards guitars and grooves spotlight these pieces with the final revisiting the ending of the opening suite.

All in all a CD that I put away for a month and take out and still sounds fresh. This is really the fist CD for the band and I think the next is going to be even better. For fans of American Prog in the vein of Kansas, Spock's Beard, Early Styx and maybe even some Dream Theater fans might like this. 4 stars.

Garion81 | 4/5 |


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