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

CHAPTERS III & IV

Time Traveller

Heavy Prog


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3 stars Due to my quotation of 4 stars for his first album 'Chapters I & II" of 2008 , I admit that I was a little disappointed when hearing this second album "Chapters III & IV", because in spite of almost bringing all of the musical influences that I mentioned in my review about the first albun (heavy and space prog) with the exception of the symphonic-prog, I believe that the so many invited musicians resulted in a loss of quality and even 'musical identity" for the band. The music not present the same energy and appeal of the previous disk and his sound started to have a little larger approach with the space-prog, different from the first that are much more close of heavy-prog. Howeve,r I still get to detach 2 tracks of the disk; track 2 "Reality Strikes" and the track 7 "Code 6360025" where due to outstanding presence of the sax, the result is a type of Heavy-Prog with jazz and funk "brushstrokes" . My rate is 3 stars!!!!

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#452969)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars An interesting band/project from Suomi-Finland.

Listed as a heavy prog band, Time Traveller does exactly what the band name says; travel in time. A long journey back in time. Well, in the history of rock, at least. Although some references to Sibelius and Bach is visible, we constrain ourselves to 1965 - 2011.

Their platform is heavy prog, but the music is so much more varied than that. It is taking in bands like Rolling Stones, Agitation Free, Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Free and Rush. I am sure I have missed out on many other bands too. But in short, the music is somewhere between heavy prog, rock'n'roll, blues, space rock, proto prog and krautrock. There are some wonderful use of Hammond organs, electric guitars, bass and drums here. That gives the music a sound taking us back to the 1970s. If someone told me this album was released in 1975, I would had believed them. Gladly !

The sound is great and the band does a superb job. The lack of some great songs are a big loss though and my major gripe with this album. But I have to admit this album is growing on me like hair is growing on my head. I love the eerie Hammond sound on this album. There is no doubts this band has tonnes of both potential and quality. So overall, this is a very good album and it is inbetween between three and four points. I guess I need to get their debut album too after been listening to this album for some days. I enjoy all this time travelling.

3.75 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#469857)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
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 Hietamäki'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 "Katós", 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.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#470881)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Juhani Nisula continues the journey he started in Chapters I & II: exciting and highly energetic space rock with prominent solo guitar work.

I find this release to be a step up from the first album. I feel as though he's honed in on his own sound here, his own style and brand of heavy space rock. His guitar playing is as exciting as before and the additional instruments here, such as the saxophone only help to enrich the sound palate and strengthen the melodies.

On this release, you will find at Juhani's side drummer Zeko Takamäki who played with him on his first release. In addition, he has enlisted the talents of Timo Ristila (keyboards), Petteri Hietamaki (sax, flute), Petri Kivimaki (sax), all of which play on one or more track.

In each chapter the music goes on uninterrupted or at the very least, flows smoothly from one track to the next, giving the feel of a wholesome lengthy composition with various chapters. From the get go, the music is in full force and upbeat. Reality Strikes and Code 6360025 are two of the most energetic pieces here, with much vigor and passion as to wake up the dead. There are varied flavours here; Juhani introduces some eastern folkloric elements into his space rock (Mind Wide Open). He introduces dynamics and variation in tempo, volume and intensity as he switches for example, from Code 6360025 to Space Harvest; the former a loud and powerful rock tune lead by solo electric guitar and tenor saxophone, the latter a laid back, slightly odd sounding, atmospheric piece. At the core of his music sits fun and old-fashioned guitar-lead rock, but it is embellished in a fresh and modern sound and well done arrangements and layering, including sound effects that add to the special sound of this album.

A fun album, one that can serve as a cool breeze on a hot summer day and spice up your mood. 3.5 stars

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#475180)
Posted Monday, July 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Chapters III & IV' - Time Traveller (6/10)

The "Time Traveller" is a very fitting name for this one-man project. Juhani Nisula is a relatively new contributor to space rock, but his sounds and influences span the past 50 years. Running from classic rock and roll to raga music, psychedelia, jazz and modern rock, Time Traveller takes these sounds and meshes them into one experience; a jam-like journey that will have lovers of the classic psych rock reeling in delight. Nisula's instrumentation is strong, and the upbeat nature of his second album 'Chapters III & IV' is charming. All the same, the looseness of the compositions can often see the music float into the background.

Time Traveller reminded me of psychedelic kings Ozric Tentacles more than a few times on the record, but Time Traveller are a little more reserved hen it comes to adventure and spaciess. Although there is a wide array of sounds that Juhani is using for this project, it comes together in a fairly cohesive way. Listeners won't blink twice when they hear uplifting sitars play within minutes of a blistering sax solo. To this end, 'Chapters III & IV' is an interesting album. The music never gets slowed down, and although the composition style is kept fairly loose and jam-oriented, the energy is kept upbeat and consistent. Juhani is evidently a strong multi-instrumentalist, although his true talent lies with the guitar. His guest musicians are also quite impressive, with particular regards to Peter Kivimaki's tenor sax work on 'Code 6360 025".

Although some will rush to its defence and say that it is a tenant of the 'space rock' style, 'Chapters III & IV' is a little too aimless for its own good. The musicianship is admirable and professionally executed, but not once in the album did a particular melody or idea leap out at me, at least in regards to the songwriting. Instead of the musicianship being there to boost the writing, the songs seem only there as a vessel with which Juhani Nisula and company can strut their stuff. I'm not sure what they could have done to make it a more memorable experience, but adding a greater dynamic to 'Chapters III & IV' would not have hurt. Take Ozric Tentacles' 'Jurassic Shift', for example. It was a loosely flowing record, yet it managed to stay captivating throughout. That's not to say that Time Traveller does not grab my attention, yet despite the impressive sense of ambition Nisula has invested into this music, there were efw moments I was caught off guard.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#612097)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
2 stars TIME TRAVELLER is, in practice, the Finnish multi-instrumental talent Juhani Nisula, who has individually done everything from composing, arranging and recording to performing the music, with the exception of drums (which are played by Zeko Takamäki) and few guest appearances. It's clearly the guitar that takes the lead role in this instrumental power rock.

The half-minute opener 'Entrance' just allows to take a deep breath before 'Reality Strikes' hard with howling guitars and a massive, funky rock sound. 'The Black Hole' is an interlude-like short piece with a threatening beat. 'Inner Peace' starts in more laid-back mood - the synths are delicious - but pretty soon adrenalin flows again. Petteri Hietamäki's tenor sax solo almost has some difficulties to fit in as the goddamn guitar hero returns boasting. Despite some spacier moments Chapter III is one hell of a ride that makes your head spin. Too much on my plate.

'Code 6360025' is heavy fusion; I like the fusion spirit but not the heaviness. 'Space Harvest' is the coolest track, perhaps the cheesiest too, sort of "Power New Age" finished with 80's-like sleekiness. Anyway it's the easiest one for me to like. The heavy guitar heroism of 'Katos' just makes me feel tired of the whole album by now. In the long final track there's luckily somewhat spacier sound, and that space is naturally well filled with meaty performances especially for keyboards and guitars.

No doubt this skillfully produced album has good chances of being mindblowing for friends of guitar-heavy power rock, but it's not very much up to my taste. It makes me remember the wise saying that sometimes less is more. So forgive me the low rating based on my subjective reception.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#1199472)
Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 | Review Permalink

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