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Enigmatic Infinity - The Shadow Out Of Time CD (album) cover

THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME

Enigmatic Infinity

 

Progressive Metal

3.00 | 2 ratings

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TCat
3 stars Enigmatic Infinity is the project of classically trained guitarist and composer Nandor Tombor from Hungary. However, he moved to progressive metal after being impressed by the works of various guitar gods. In November of 2019, Tombor released his 2nd album 'The Shadow Out of Time' under this moniker, and while he plays all of the guitars on the album, he also enlisted the talents of Rob Lundgren (vocals) and Balint Imhof (keyboards) and even has Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) along to provide a keyboard solo in the track 'Nocturnal Wanderings'. The album has 6 epic sounding tracks that together adds up to almost 50 minutes of music.

One thing that remains true through the tracks on this album, and that is Tombor is an excellent composer, and the music in these mostly long tracks is pretty amazing, with changing meters, moods and themes making the music complex and interesting. There is plenty of guitar and keyboard interplay here, it's not just another collection of sound alike guitar solos, but a very strong and progressive album. The instrumental work can carry you to amazing and lofty heights of emotional and impressive guitar work on both acoustic and electric guitars along with some excellent organ, piano and synth fills and even solos, giving the listener a nice tour-de-force of ever changing, never boring songs. Even the shortest track on here, 'The Great Race' sounds like a masterwork of instrumental complexity, even if it is all mostly done by classical guitar.

However, that same track also features a lot of vocals from Lundgren, and his vocals are very off-putting to me. Sure he has a great range, but I'm not so sure he uses it very effectively, as he soars and swoops around with the melody, but you end up with songs that sound like over-acted script singing, and his dramatics just don't always fit with the music, seeming more like random notes than a real melody. His problem here is he elaborates on melodies that don't even get a chance to get established, so you don't really know what he is elaborating on. This is very unfortunate, because with the excellent instrumentation and composing skills of Tombor get buried in Lundgren's vocal theatrics that just don't make sense most of the time. Some may think this might be easy to get around, but unfortunately, there are a lot of complex vocals here as the music is often lyric-heavy.

It's hard to focus on the amazing instrumentals and progressive brilliance of 'The Collapse' and the excellent keyboard and guitar solos in 'A Disquieting Letter', because they are constantly interrupted by the random vocal stylings. And there might be some that can look around the vocals here, or take the time to appreciate the complexity of the music, and to those listeners that have the patience to do that, you will be rewarded by some excellent and masterful progressive metal. At least, you get a break from the vocals with the thrilling progressive instrumental 'Nocturnal Wanderings', that comes with the amazing solo by Sherinian, . It makes you wish that there were only instrumentals on this album, or at least the vocalist would have been more restrained. The album is capped off with 'The Shadow Out of Time' with the impressive time of over 17 minutes. As with the other tracks on this album, it is an ever-changing, dynamic and interesting track that is hampered by the overly ambitious vocals.

It's easy to say that this album would have been quite excellent, but the vocals are just too all over the place and pretentious, while the music is a wonderful example of progressiveness with a perfect mixture of several guitar styles and textures with the right amount of keyboard sensibilities to add a great level of dynamics. If the lyrical content wasn't so heavy, this issue with the vocals might not have been such a factor, but they end up being unavoidable. Handled by another vocalist, this might have been much better, but as it is, it takes it from a very strong album, to one that is often difficult to listen to. Sadly, it all comes out as a three star album that at the same time, has a lot of great instrument interplay and balance.

TCat | 3/5 |

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