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Time Traveller - Chapters III & IV CD (album) cover


Time Traveller


Heavy Prog

3.06 | 15 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second Time Traveller album emerges from same mysterious Mongolian sounds, to which the first record found its conclusion. These new chapters continue the earlier story with same familiar tonal language, but now venturing far deeper to the realms of vivid and aggressive sonic explorations, whereas the first album was dominated more patient philosophies. However if one is willing for positive roller coaster ride on musical spheres, Juhani Nisula's musical imagination and talent certainly offer an impressive ride.

First side of the LP strikes forth the Chapter III from this Ostrobothnian progressive rock epic. "Reality Strikes" directly with a guitar driven hard rock theme, and this song's accessible melodies are enriched with pleasant neurotic rhythm sequences, cosmic sounds and delightful multitude of arrangement details. Quite modern guitar and bass sounds are blended with an arsenal of classic vintage keyboard instruments. After pleasant lounging in the rocky plateau guarded by solacing trees and future's potential flickering in horizon, more threatening dangers are encountered as a solemn theme gives warning of closing "The Black Hole". This song builds tension in quite pompous manner, until abrupt reprisal of the entry theme marks the shift to "Inner Peace" sequence, maybe signing the transition past the fatalistic point of no return through event horizon. Instead of morphing to spaghetti, luckily the consciousness is expanded with warm and hippie-oriented tones. Mellow Mellotron clavinet whispers work as an aperitif for a broad selection of melodic digesting pleasures, spiced with Petteri Hietamški's tenor saxophone. Later these meditations lead to more severe psychic catharsis of "Mind Wild Open". I admit I personally do not like very much the "musical volcano erupts" which are often found in rock music coda's breaking the conventional pop structures, but this moment does not ruin the record either. This deconstruction of psyche is healed with acoustic-leaned Kingston Wall styled dharma moment, and the song is wrapped inside the "Inner Peace" composition, which ties together the musical flow growing to quite cacophonic levels at some point. From its theme is built a quite groovy and pleasant jam, which is faded out, signaling the vinyl side's ending. Second side of the LP covering Chapter IV opens with keyboard and guitar dialogue. The tune is driven to the core of "Code 6360025", as saxophone joins the melodic solo lines attacking the pulsing groove basis of the song, radiating rapid signals of enjoyment. "Space Harvest" reminds then 1980's Hawkwind's ambient travels through cosmic corridors, giving some pleasant space for breathing after the more intense rush of details. Suddenly the unwary listener is pushed to the chaotic waters of "Katůs", being possibly the most eccentric composition in this musical storm. The deranged flight in warped themes is interesting, and there are some catchy theme rising as concrete forms from the messy sea of details. I admit the union of these conflicting elements creates an interesting composition with extreme contrasts merged, but I'm uncertain if this still is the most pleasant part of this musical journey. The final track "The Last Wave" finds time to expand the flow past eight minutes, and relaxed song with fine guitar melody and solo sequences is really fine, strengthened in some moments with more neurotic harmonic details. The surges of huge tidal waves end the album, and they seem as a promise that later more chapters would emerge from their embrace.

I heard some comments that people knowing both the two currently existing Time Traveller records liked the first one better. I only agree that they are different from the perspective of content's intensity and tendency of musical exploration. If the music is sincere, and the listener is ready to meet the musician as persons they are, I believe a channel of communication may born. Somehow from my own part I have been lost to this concept, instead of demanding circus acts produced with details matching my own personal fetishes. Maybe the neurotically twisting aural journey could resemble a child in play, adventuring in freedom with a hunger for new experiences, suffering impatience of seeing all the interesting new things without delay. However the album as a complete record is finished with thought, and after several times of listening for few months I feel it works most best as record guiding to the realms of its creator, not so much as a record for relaxing or catching with easy tunes. The neat gatefold covers resemble this time the sharper style of Hipgnosis, and the human feeling I personally saw in it strengthened my described spiritual experience of the album. The recorded sounds are preserved with quite modern objectives, giving detailed presentation of older vintage synthesizers, but also boosting the heavenly weeping hard rock guitar tones with authentic 1980's and 1990's sounds. The record is also available on CD, but I recommend the fine vinyl artifact for anybody interested of guitar and vintage keyboards driven energetic progressive rock; This music should fit globally to anybody's prog LP turntable, as the weird Scandinavian language is not present on the completely instrumental album.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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