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Time Machine

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Honorary Collaborator
1 stars "Act II: Galileo is one of the few albums in my collection I really feel bad about buying. I read a review that praised Time Machine as the new Dream Theater and bought the album ( how many times have I read a prog metal review that said: " This sounds just like Dream Theater" ? Countless times I´ll tell you. This isn´t true of course. Time Machine plays prog metal, but the standard is not very good.

I especially dislike Folco Orlandini´s voice which I find imature and cheesy. Listen to a song like "Mother", it´s so pathetic that I grind my teeth when I hear this ( they say that the average age when Italien men move from their mother is 30. Think about that when you listen to this song). The lyrical concept is good though, describing the story of Galileo.

The production is really bad which doesn´t help this album at all. There are way too many soft passages for me here. The metal is well hidden.

All in all a really bad album. Nothing I would recommend.

Report this review (#155053)
Posted Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a concept album about the trial and imprisonment of Galileo in 1633. Most of the lyrics here are the imagined words and thoughts of Galileo in the first person. I have to say that a lot of work must have gone into making this album. I feel like a broken record in saying this but like with a lot of concept albums some of the songs are sacrificed for the concept. In other words the concept comes first above all else including the music. There are 19 songs on here and over half of them are just over a minute or less in length.

After a short intro track we get "Stargazer" which is my favourite song on the album. The heavy riffs to open come and go on this one. A nice contrast with the mellow sections with synths and vocals. "I Hold The Key(Into The Void)" is another good song. Lots of atmosphere early as guitar cries out in the background. It kicks into gear 1 1/2 minutes in with some ripping guitar. Vocals a minute later. The tempo picks up before 4 1/2 minutes with some fat bass after 5 minutes. It's raining with thunder to end it. Then we get 5 short tracks before "Burning In The Wind" another good one. More atmosphere early before heavy guitar and drums come in. Guitar is blistering as vocals arrive a minute in."

Aperite!" is great if only for the drumming. "Dungeons of the Vatican" is all over the place with some orchestration. Not a fan. "Cold Flames of Faith" opens with piano as synths, orchestration and warbly vocals come in. It's not the best really until some heaviness before 3 minutes and especially 6 1/2 minutes in where they really let it rip for one of the few times. "White Collars" is another so so track. Some heaviness once it gets going but it's average at best. "Prisoner of Dreams" has some nice sax in it. "Black Rose" features pleasant guitar throughout. "I Can't Smile" is great for the first 1 1/2 minutes with some beautiful piano, then vocals come in.

Barely 3 stars for me. 2.5 stars is probably more accurate. It just doesn't work for me.

Report this review (#171498)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Released in 1995, "Act II: Galileo" is the debut full-length release of Italian prog metallers Time Machine. Hailing from Milan, the band had actually released already an EP ("Project: Time Scanning") with a similar line-up, hence why they titled the album "Act II". The band's driving force is bass player Lorenzo Dehó, who is the main songwriter and lyricist. Joe Taccone and Ivan Oggioni play guitars and new band member Antonio Rotta sits behind the drum kit. Another new member, Folco Orlandini (who will later appear on a couple of Skylark's records), takes charge of the vocal department.

"Act II: Galileo" is a concept album about Galileo Galilei, the so-called "father of modern science" who lived in the 17th century. The album narrates his trial for heresy by the Inquisition which ended with his condemnation to house arrests, where Galileo spent the rest of his life. It is an interesting theme, especially for those who, like me, are suckers for history-tinged conceptual albums.

Musically, the album is divided into nine tracks, which are further divided across nineteen interconnected sub-tracks, some of which are short instrumental and others longer pieces with vocals. Many sub-tracks are interconnected and flow seamlessly into one another, which fits well with the conceptual nature of the record. The music can be described as melodic progressive metal, built around complex song structures and virtuoso playing in the vein of Queensryche and, less obviously, Dream Theater. One unusual aspect of the album is that many of the songs revolve around bass riffs, reflecting the role of Lorenzo Dehó as main composer of the material. Guitars arpeggios, riffs and leads and lush keyboard arrangements also play a very prominent role, giving the album a rich and multi-layered sound which fits well with its progressive ambitions. Folco Orlandini's vocals are quite good, too. He has a standard, high-pitched prog metal voice, halfway between LaBrie, Matos and Tate. He uses his voice very well, alternating between balls-to-the-wall singing and more atmospheric, mid-range passages, offering an overall nuanced and sophisticated performance.

"Act II: Galileo" is a huge improvement over the debut EP, with some excellent compositions such as the sinister, partly ambient instrumental "Dungeons of the Vatican", and "Cold Flames of Faith", an inventive tour-de-force that develops between mellow ballad and full-blown Queensryche-like prog monster. "White Collars" sports an interesting finale with a cool guitar and moog solos. "Prisoner of Dreams" is another good track that harks back to the classic Queensryche balladry. Other songs contain also interesting moments, but one defect of the LP - which was also present in the debut EP - is that often these ideas are not fully developed, as the band is (too) quick to move on to the next idea. There are so many moments on this album where I just wish the band could stay just a bit longer on each musical idea to develop it in full. Instead, Dehó's tendency to cram each song with a myriad of different parts (some good, some less good) makes the album feel too fragmented and rushed. It is a pity, because the talent is obviously there and, with some guidance from an expert producer, this album could have been a much more assured release.

The production is the other downside of this record. The sound has hugely improved relative to the debut EP, but the production is still too rough, especially when it comes to the guitar and drum sound, which are barely above the level one would expect from a demo. The mix is also somewhat awkward, with the keyboards sitting way too high in the overall mix of many songs.

It is a pity, because "Act II: Galileo" contains some very good material which shows that Time Machine are a band full of ideas and talent. However, the subpar sound production and a not yet fully mature songwriting bog down this release considerably. With a bit more quality control, some careful pruning of the less valid material, and a better sound production and mix, this album could have been a much more impressive release than what it actually is.

Report this review (#2593684)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2021 | Review Permalink

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