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Time's Forgotten - Shelter CD (album) cover


Time's Forgotten

Progressive Metal

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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Formed back in 2004 by Juan Pablo Calvo (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Time's Forgotten have long been seen as one of the top prog metal bands out of Costa Rica, but it has been ten long years since their third album, 'The Book Of Lost Words' was released. Back then they were a sextet with a male singer, but Francisco Longhi and guitarist Leonardo Rojas, have both since departed. Juan, along with Jorge Sobrado (drums), Ari Lotringer (lead guitar) and Gonzalo Trejos (bass) have now been joined by Priscilla Ruiz on lead vocals. I have not come across the previous releases, but when a singer is changed it is not unusual for a band sound to change considerably, especially if they move from male to female, so I must believe that this is a totally fresh start for them.

Given that the band was formed by the keyboard player, I expected them to be musically coming from that area but instead they are coming into the genre much more from a melodic metal stance, with prog overtones. They can slow it down when they wish, and head more into the keyboard swathed sound, yet are also happy with plenty of technical guitar riffs, really mixing and changing the set all the way through so one is never sure where the next song is going to lead. On top of that they have a singer who is able to provide gentle, almost ballad-style vocals with long-held notes without a single ounce of strain, or she can be ripping into it is with a wonderful high range and power.

There is a lightness with the heavy, which makes this an incredibly easy album to listen to the very first time it is played. They use loads of contrast, and there is little room for egos as everyone does their job without a "look at how clever I am" attitude. There is no doubt at all that Time's Forgotten are back in a big way and let us hope it is not nearly as long until we get the next album.

Report this review (#2672585)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2022 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars [Originally published as a mini-review at The Progressive Aspect]

Time's Forgotten is a band from Costa Rica formed in 2004, but who went on extended hiatus in 2015. They're back now, with a change in sound and vocalist - or so I have made out from their promotional material. Shelter may be their fourth album, but it's the first I've ever heard. I may still not have heard of them had they not been recommended to me after my review of Involute's debut as a similar band that I might enjoy. I can hear why the band were recommended to me, but there are probably as many differences as there are similarities, the biggest of which is that, although both bands have female singers, Priscilla Ruiz has a far more traditional prog metal vocal style. But enough of Involute - Shelter quite simply rocks!

I'm not done with Ruiz, though - for she really is the star attraction here. I'm not sure I even want to investigate the band's previous releases because so much of the atmosphere and energy of Shelter comes from the versatility of Ruiz's vocals. She can be an absolute powerhouse, coming on like an unstoppable tempest, and she can provide gentler tones for the more ballad styled songs. But this is a generally heavier prog metal beast that allows Ruiz to show her range and power as she rips and roars her way through her lines. Her voice soars over the instruments often, somewhere out there in the stratosphere, but that's not to say the rest of the backing are lacking, providing a solid wall of sound that's thoroughly enjoyable. And it's not standard fare, either. Sure, there are plenty of prog metal hooks and riffs, but there's some wonderfully melodic passages and others that are nice and jazzy.

There is surprisingly little keyboard high in the mix for this style of prog metal, but when it does rise above the rest and make its presence more known, Juan Pablo Calvo's playing really shines. Given that often the keys are my least favourite instrument in most prog metal bands, it is even more surprising that they are probably my favourite instrument on Shelter. They add a great deal to the sound, even when they are not prominent. The rhythm section of Jorge Sobrado (drums) and Gonzalo Trejos (bass) provide a solid groove that's quite irresistible, and Ari Lotringer plays a mean guitar, with some wicked solos. I don't know how many of these musicians are from the original incarnation of the band, but they are definitely a band I want to hear more from. If Shelter is a fresh start for Time's Forgotten, I'm with them from here on.

Report this review (#2711421)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2022 | Review Permalink
4 stars TIME'S FORGOTTEN is the progressive metal rock band from Costa Rica beginning their musical life in 2004 with Juan Pablo CALVO, quickly opening for ANGRA, AVANTASIA and CAST. Very fruity prog metal, a little neo zest which I hung on to in 2009 with 'Dandelion'. A break in 2015 and they return hyper-boosted by a singer for obvious melodic metal connotations with hard-hitting riffs and other prog reminiscences based on the use of the keyboard wisely. Priscilla brings softness and aggressiveness over the current compositions where the worked djent is embedded for the rhythm section; rock stamped with the basic DREAM THEATER, THE GATHERING for the heavy metal of their beginnings and FREQUENCY DRIFT for the voice associated with the current symphony; a concept album about finding individuality in a city while staying sheltered, just to read this review of their 4th album.

"New Dawn (prologue)" for the spatial, heavy and latent intro, a bewitching keyboard leading to "City", a combination of Priscilla's voice and heavy instrumentation, from the metronomic drums to the roaring bass, the borderline djent guitar placing notes by jerks; in short, a good current prog metal supercharged ' la THE GATHERING filled with spleen synths. 'Cycle' continues with a melodic title upstream with a spleen and bewitching guitar, the softer air on a declination of 'City'; it goes up on a djent rhythmic again followed by an intimate calm bluesy break, very nice moment. 'Defiant' continues on the same frame, heavy rhythmic well tempered, syncopated air and a melodic guitar which adds a little sweetness; surprise break cutting the title, Priscilla hits the road again with her voice to restore some energy, a snarling voice it is true to Chrissie HYNDE. "Accident Of Evolution" and it rocks serious from the intro, well worked, spatial, rhythmic, heavy; well we are on an instrumental there, look no further the only voices heard are those belched from a NASA radio station; staggering keyboard notes giving a little lightness.

"Waking Up (interlude)" for this moment of tranquility with piano and string instrument vibrating our ears and "Ascension" continues on the piano, Priscilla soft with Ari's guitar; a de facto crescendo that seizes mid-course, divine choirs, a bass ' la 'Seventh Son Of a Seventh Son' symphonic, airy and it starts again; Priscilla's voice becomes more aggressive, provocative, rock on a Chrissie HYNDE, a Pat BENATAR chopping her words; final djent with a tapping of strings leaving the sound of the group on very current metal, fast and technical. 'Outsider' for the title the most fits in, it moves hard from the start like climbing stairs to 4 floors; common title then consensual I would say and the killer bluesy break, provocative charm guitar-languorous voices. 'Moments of Clarity' for a variation with the highlighting of the synths giving another musical vignette of what the group can offer; the end starts again on a melodic prog metal. "The Road Home" on a spleen post rock air, air of a SIMPLE MINDS from the start, sounds reminding me of the cloudy airs of COMA ROSSI for a while, a little on the ambient sound of OCEANSIZE, GATHERING, a title that confuses with joy, showing that gentleness can be a plus; the explosive orgasmic rush brings us back to the opening sound. 'Sleepless' sublime as its name suggests; how even a short ambient track can rock the feeling of an album.

TIME'S FORGOTTEN strikes a blow, renewing itself with the contribution of a female voice and a high musical score, on the border of metal prog more than neo, Technic-djent prog; a varied album where progressive breaks arrive over the listening of each title, creating different and accommodating atmospheres. Delivering 50 minutes of pure pleasure, TIME'S FORGOTTEN is worth noting for this beginning of the year in this oh so current drawer.

Report this review (#2713594)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2022 | Review Permalink

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