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Tempus Fugit - Chessboard CD (album) cover


Tempus Fugit


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 85 ratings

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3 stars Chessboard is the third album from Tempus Fugit, a Symphonic Prog band from Brazil, but is my introduction to the band. There seems to be a myriad of influences here, from classic seventies symphonic prog - Camel for example to neo prog but down to a modern sounding production, though a little sterile sounding has its feet firmly in the current decade.

Although Chessboard is a very good album it's frustratingly let down by some poor vocals from Andre Mello. Fortunately he makes up for it with some fine keyboard work. In fact the whole band are excellent players and I particularly enjoyed guitarist, Henrique Simoes searing lead work. The music is full sounding and melodic and particularly welcome in view of the afore mentioned weak vocals are plenty of extended instrumental passages.

Although there is much to enjoy in the earlier parts of the album it's the last 2 tracks, The Princess and Chessboard (both divided and subtitled into 2 parts) that they really hit their stride. On My Princess the vocals are helped by the addition of Mirna Birtling, though the vocal melody is a little sugary but it's the second part, Tears From The Sky where guitarist Simoes really gets a chance to shine with an excellent solo.

Title track Chessboard also happens to be the longest track, the 2 parts almost taking it to the 20 minute mark. Birtling helps out on vocals again. The first part, The Game of Life reminds me quite a bit of IQ, melodically, but also because of the overall sound. Andre Ribeiro shines with some dextrous bass playing too, making up a very good rhythm section with drummer Ary Moura. Simoes also gets to shine again on the second part, The Living with some nice acoustic work as well as more excellent lead playing. Chessboard is easily the best track on the album, maintaining my interest throughout with its many changes.

A very good album then worth 3 stars, the weak vocals stopping me from stretching to a 4. Perhaps Tempus Fugit should add a new singer to the line up or failing that they'd make a great instrumental band.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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