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Time Traveller - Chapters V & VI CD (album) cover


Time Traveller

Heavy Prog

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4 stars This album finishes the TIME TRAVELLER trilogy; the previous albums are Chapters I & II (2008) and Chapters III & IV (2011). The Finnish project is sovereignly led by Juhani Nisula who has composed the music and who plays bass and keyboards besides his main instrument electric guitar, the real star of the whole show. Gracefully it's not a one-man project though. Mika Lilja does excellent job on drums, and Timo Ristilš adds vintage key instruments on several tracks. With a welcome exception of one vocal song, the music is instrumental.

The music is energetic heavy prog, or power rock, emphasizing on electric guitar. Perhaps the previous albums were simply too muscular for my taste, too fully packed and "heroic" in a heavy manner way, making me miss lighter or spacier nuances. This album clearly leaves me with a better aftertaste. It features a more convincing classic rock spirit in its eight tracks that most of all have enough sonic variety to keep the listener satisfied and happy.

'The First Five Steps' is a good opener balanced between adrenalin-fuelled power and fusiony musicianship (comparable to JUKKA TOLONEN). 'Sunday Morning Walk' is naturally more relaxed piece in which relatively softly played electric guitar sounds very nice. 'The Lord, the Emperor' is THE ultimate, breath-taking heavy prog attack of the album, and Hammond, Oberheim Ob-SX and Mellotron also give it a thick psychedelic flavour.

Chapter VI (the second side if you're having a vinyl) begins with the vocal song 'Diving Deep Down'. Nisula handles the main vocals surprisingly well in this strong and suitably catchy rock song with some Beatlesque psychedelic details (e.g. percussive, India-flavoured moments reminiscent of 'Tomorrow Never Knows'). On 'Following the Light' the going is still very powerful, and Nisula's grand piano joins the groove merrily. 'Space Radiation' gives the exhausted listener a spacey, ambientish oasis but sadly lasts under a minute before 'No Gravity' kicks in. 'Earth Above' returns to the airy and laid-back atmosphere and ends the energetic album in an ideal way.

Report this review (#2538220)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | Review Permalink
3 stars Time Traveller is the brainchild of Juhani Nisula, a Finnish multi-instrumentalist playing guitars, fretted and fretless bass, Hammond C-3 and M-100, Mellotron, Moog, Oberheim OB-sX, Roland SH-3A and JX-3P synthesizers, and he also does the vocals. After releasing Chapters I & II in 2008 and Chapters III & IV in 2011 this year (2021) Time Traveller presents its new album entitled Chapters V & VI.

I a not familiar with the previous albums but to me Time Traveller plays in the realm of fusion, the work of Jeff Beck and Al DiMeola comes to my mind. But with a heavier guitar sound, and more coloured with vintage keyboards, especially the Hammond organ and Minimoog synthesizer. I am very impressed by Juhani's amazing skills, and the outstanding interplay with the other musicians. This formation sounds like a Heavy Fusion Orchestra: sumptuous, dazzling, like in The First Five Steps (strong interplay between heavy guitar and Hammond), The Lord, The Emperor (Minimoog, swinging interlude and exciting wah-wah drenched guitar solo in final part) and No Gravity (blistering guitar and halfway a spectacular pitchbend driven Minimoog solo).

The tracks Sunday Morning Walk and Following The Light contain swinging rhythms while Diving Deep Down (tight beat and pleasant English vocals) more in the vein of AOR is.

The most varied composition is Earth Above, alternating between mellow and heavy and bombastic, it sounds very dynamic with great work on the Hammond and lots of heavy guitar soli.

If you like harder-edged/heavy fusion this is an interesting album to discover.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2545796)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | Review Permalink

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