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Thought Chamber

Progressive Metal

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Thought Chamber Angular Perceptions album cover
3.52 | 88 ratings | 16 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Premonition (2:12)
2. Sacred Treasure (7:07)
3. A Legend's Avalon (5:48)
4. Balance of One (6:18)
5. Mr Qwinkle's Therapy (5:32)
6. Transmigration of Souls (6:41)
7. God Of Oblique (5:10)
8. Silent Shore (3:40)
9. Accidently on Purpose (4:53)
10. A Mind Beyond (7:38)

Total Time 54:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Blakley / bass
- Michael Harris / guitar,keyboards,vocals
- Ted Leonard / vocals
- Rob Stankiewicz / drums
- Bobby Williamson / keyboards

Releases information

CD InsideOut IOMCD274 #SPV 79422 (2007)

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THOUGHT CHAMBER Angular Perceptions ratings distribution

(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THOUGHT CHAMBER Angular Perceptions reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars On the cover of this cd is a little round sticker that states that singer Ted Leonard of ENCHANT is featured. Make no mistake though this is a Michael Harris project. Michael Harris is one of the best guitarists out there having put out many solo records and before that he had some major commercial success in Japan and Europe with his former band ARCH RIVAL. One of Michael's solo albums is called "Sketches From The Thought Chamber" and this is sort of an extension of that. Harris wrote the music and lyrics for all the songs getting some help with the music on two of the instrumental tracks. With Ted singing on this record there is going to be a lot of comparisons between THOUGHT CHAMBER and ENCHANT. THOUGHT CHAMBER is all about bombastic solos,complex playing and arrangements and they are a lot heavier than ENCHANT. I would compare this band's music to LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT and DREAM THEATER.

The band certainly shows what they are all about on the first song "Premonition" an instrumental. Over the top keyboard playing and virtuoso guitar solos are fired off left and right before they show some diversity with a slow and heavy ending. "Sacred Treasure" features some amazing keyboard playing but it's a little too upfront for my tastes. The vocals 2 1/2 minutes in make me smile as I think of ENCHANT.The guitar is great as we get some riffing followed by an intricate guitar solo then a keyboard solo. "A Legend's Avalon" opens with some double bass drumming and some impressive guitar work 4 minutes in. "Balance Of One" features Harris singing lead on the bridges while Leonard takes care of the rest. Drums and bass dominate the instrumental sections as the guitar blazes a trail. This is excellent fusion.

"Transmigration Of Souls" has some fantastic work from the rhythm section.The guitar melodies are IRON MAIDEN-like, while the bass before 5 minutes is impressive. "God Of Oblique" is a change of style to almost like an eighties metal song. I like it. A blistering guitar solo after 3 minutes followed by a keyboard solo. There is an eastern feel to the song 4 minutes in. "Silent Shore" features guitar synth (there is a lot of this on this record), e-bow and some orchestration.This song is more laid back and the closest thing to an ENCHANT song. Tasteful guitar on this one and it ends with a Page-like guitar melody. "Accidently On Purpose" is an instrumental, and all I can say is "yeah,these guys are showing off big time". "A Mind Beyond" has some good guitar and vocals as the synths swirl. I love the background synths on this one that are followed by some heaviness and a jazz passage.

Tough one to rate only because the musicianship demands nothing less than 4 stars but for my tastes it's closer to 3 stars. I'm just not a big fan of uptempo, keyboard led music. Fortunately it's not all about that. I am so impressed with the guitar play of Michael Harris though, and of course with Ted's vocals. So it's 3.5 stars for me. And by the way I have to admit the reason I bought this disc had something to do with the little round sticker on the front cover.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars This is ENCHANT’s vocalist side-project as far as I know (at least, with his participation), and his voice made me muse a bit of my early days in Prog realm, when every discovered band seemed so challenging but still far from DREAM THEATER’s fame :) Couple of songs in the beginning of “Angular Perceptions” were quite good, biting and powerful, but the further we were going, the more obvious things became to emerge. Nothing wrong here (record quality and musicianship are top-notch), but this one must be recommended (and will appeal) mostly to ENCHANT/Prog-Metal fans. Others will hardly find anything special here musically. 2.5 stars in a whole.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Angular Perceptions" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Thought Chamber. The album was released through InsideOut Music in February 2007. Thought Chamber was formed in 2006 by guitarist Michael Harris (solo, Darkology, Zanister) and lead vocalist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Spockīs Beard). They brought in bassist Derek Blakley and drummer Rob Stankiewicz (both from Haji's Kitchen), and keyboard player Bobby Williamson (Outworld) to complete the lineup.

The music style on "Angular Perceptions" is a technically well played, relatively complex, and melodic type of progressive metal. Itīs occasionally more rock oriented that metal oriented, but there are enough heavy parts and metal leanings for the album to be labelled metal. The band are incredibly talented and well playing, and Ted Leonard delivers one of his most remarkable vocal performances reaching both high and low notes with ease. The vocal melodies are strong and memorable too, which further helps him to shine.

Although Thought Chamber often wanders off into technical instrumental territory, they always make it sound like itīs a natural part of the tracks. Nothing is placed there for flash and the tracks flow nicely despite the structural complexity and adventurous ideas. Even the instrumental "Mr Qwinkle's Therapy" features a musical red thread and a strong melodic sensibility. While the music is often melodic and uplifting, itīs great to hear a track like "A Mind Beyond" which incorporates a darker atmosphere and showcases that Thought Chamber is capable of producing relatively diverse material. "Angular Perceptions" is generally an album featuring an abundance of details and itīs one of those releases where you hear something new each time you give it a listen.

Itīs not a 100% unique sounding release, and there are nods toward classic 70s/80s progressive rock like Kansas, Yes, and Rush in the music, and itīs also hard to completely avoid a Dream Theater reference either, but overall Thought Chamber has created a relatively distinct sound. The album is well produced which is another plus in the book, and upon conclusion "Angular Perceptions" is an extremely impressive debut album by Thought Chamber, and itīs obvious that these guys are seasoned veterans of the scene. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Promising debut album from this self-coined supergroup.

Excellent musicianship is the dominant feature on this album, especially experienced axeman Michael Harris use the opportunity to showcase his instrumental prowess on this release, but the other members of the band get their chances of conveying technical brilliance throughout this release too. And the vocals of Enchant vocalist Ted Leonard are excellent in a Dream Theater kind of way.

What's lacking are really good songs though. Lots of instrumental showcasing here, but not too many songs as such; as the compositions seems to be pieces assembled rather than songs composed.

Worth checking out by fans of technical metal with progressive elements, and should be loved by people of the opinion that Dream Theater don't showcase their technical abilities as much as they should.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kansas in Progressive Metal

By the time I am writing this review, I have been listening to this album inits entirety more than 10 times and the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. It's probably the music style is energetic (most of the songs), in the vein of progressive metal, and also it's quite complex, technical in nature. Michael Harris, the multi-talented musician majoring in guitar and composition, but also plays keyboard and vocal, is the mastermind behind all of the musical concept of this album. For those of you who have been familiar with another prog band Enchant, you can find the voice of its lead vocalist Ted Leonard. It's quite funny I find here that when I listened to the music of Enchant I did not realize that the voice of Ted is very (very!) similar with Steve Walsh of Kansas. I could only find here with Thought Chamber that similarity in voice. And I do not know why, listening to this stream of music by Thought Chambe creates a feeling of Kansas music in progressive metal style. This must have been due to the fact that the voice of Steve Walsh has embeded beautifully in Kansas music and it has become an integral part of any Kansas music.

Having said so, can't you imagine how happy I have been listening to the music of Thought Chamber due to the above facts. In fact, if the lead vocalist is not Kansas-like, say James LaBrie taking the role in vocal department, or Russel Allen of Symphony X, I still can enjoy the stream of music these gentlemen are delivering through "Angular Perceptions".

Why Liking this Album?

There are couple of reasons that I can summarize on why I like this album that probably would apply the same to you:

Technical Complexity Well. basically this is what most people expect whenever they are listening to what "supposed to be" a progressive music. And I have to admit that this album throughout all of the ten songs delivered here with this album are technically complex. If you are the kind of people in the school of thought that progressive music should be complex, this is it! This album is one hundred percent for you, because you can take any segment in the music and you would agree with me that there are so many acrobatic notes that really mind boggling. The first time I spun the CD I felt tired in the middle of the album, but with some more spins, it grew on me, steadily. Now, I get used to it with any complex pieces no matter how acrobatic the notes are in relatively fast speed manner.

The album starts wonderfully with an ambient keyboard work in "Premonition" (2:12) followed with jaw-dropping drumwork combined beautifully with stunning guitar fills. Keyboard still plays with guitar in intertwining fashion, bring the music into beautiful zone of complexity with symphonic flavor mostly produced by keyboard work. The complex arrangements then move into a break of acoustic guitar work that bridges the music into next track "Sacred Treasure" (7:07) featuring the vocal line while the opening track was just an instrumental. Bass guitar work is also excellent. There is also break with acoustic guitar during the transition to "Legend's Avalon" (5:48) and there is a long break during track 8 because the track ("Silent Shore" (3:40)) is basically a mellow one.

Harmony This subject is usually mixed up with melody because some people judge harmony on the basis of melody line which actually is different animal. For this album, I don't think the music is melodic (having a strong point in melody line) even though for me personally it's okay as well as being compensated appropriately with harmony and technical skills. Fortunately these songs contained in this album are all having excellent harmonies among instruments' sounds and notes produced by each instruments. In addition to that, the vocal melody delivered by Ted Leonard sits beautifully in the accompanying music. The result is an excellent harmony in terms of musical instruments as well as vocal line.

On first case, i.e. the instruments harmony you can enjoy nicely track 9 "Accidentally on Purpose" (4:53) which demonstrates a great example on what I mean. This is a full instrumental piece and it does not rely on melody as the music flows from start to end, rather it relies heavily on harmonies among keyboard, bass lines, guitars and drums. You can find each player is a virtuoso in their respective instrument. The bass guitar is very dynamic while the acrobatic drumming is also stunning and in most of transition pieces I am amazed with the style. The drumming style is in the vein of Mark Zonder (spelling?) of Fates Warning, I believe. Guitar virtuosity of Harris is no question. It all add up into beautiful harmony, and so beautiful music.

On the second case, you can take any example from all songs with vocal line. Take for example "Transmigration of Souls" you can segregate the music from vocal and find out great harmony. But our focus is now on how vocal has blended into the music. As the music flows I can see great Ted Leonard vocal embeds into the music and it has become the integral part of the music that you can not segregate anymore, it unites nicely and naturally. Imagine replacing the vocal with guitar or keybord! It's hard that you can enjoy it, because it becomes disintegrated.

Energetic>. If you like the heavy side of progressive rock, this music is dedicated for you because most of the compositions are heavy in rhythm section and acrobatic in nature. Of course there are breaks in between songs and also one mellow song, but the rest is energetic.

Why Not Liking This Album?

I don't know any reason for not liking this album unless you do not progressive metal music because the songs contained here in this album is excellent and strong in songwriting, tight composition. In fact, if you like technical mastery of guitar or keyboard, you can also enjoy this album. Well, if you only enjoy neo progressive music and do not want to explore your music boundaries, I guarantee you will suffer enjoying this kind of music.


Having explored this album in great details, even though I do not write on track by track basis, it's very easy to summarize this album as an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. Fans of Kansas might be favored knowing that the music is somewhat Kansas played in progressive metal style. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you're going to play derivative progressive-metal, you better do it like this.

When I first learned that ENCHANT's Ted Leonard was the singer of a progressive-metal band, I got scared. ENCHANT, while a good group, is not really metal, and I could never imagine Leonard's soft, pop-esque vocals in a true metallic atmosphere. I thought it was too thin, too cute, too un-metal.

The good thing is that he has proved me wrong. In THOUGHT CHAMBER, Leonard's performance is excellent, among the best of his career. The usual melodic vocals he chooses for ENCHANT are here, but we see now another side of his abilities: the ability to sing louder, to sing higher, to be able to front a much louder band. He succeeds almost completely. Just a few times during the album I got the idea that he was in stress trying to fit in with the music, but generally, he makes for a very good progressive-metal vocalist.

And now let's talk about the music: THOUGHT CHAMBER is a traditional progressive-metal band that plays in the same school of DREAM THEATER. Their music is mostly riff-based but they have great originality to come up with very interesting ones. The songs are longer than usual, with extended instrumental sections and three purely-instrumental tracks. The influences are varied, and we can even feel some jazz here and there, especially in the harmonies and bass lines. THOUGHT CHAMBER puts a lot of emphasis in interesting texturing work, with some moments in the album sounding like true counterpoint.

The music wouldn't be as good if it wasn't played with such amazing skills. Here we have a true outstanding set of performers, from the excellent, jazz-oriented drummer and bass player (who really shines throughout the album) to the impressive guitarist, Michael Harris, leader and mastermind of the band. This album is his idea and it shows, as it is the guitar the instrument which in the end outshines the others with the splendor of the solos and ornaments and the technical proficiency one can discover and enjoy.

At times, "Angular Perceptions" just lacks memorable choruses or melodies to be considered a true 5- star progressive-metal album. I was inclined after the first few songs to give this record the highest rating, as it's one of the best-played traditional prog-metal albums in existence, but after I listened to the whole thing, the impression it left in my mind was less strong. It's an excellent addition to any collection and therefore I give it 4 stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Thought Chamber is a new band of Arch Rival's guitaris Michel Harris. He gathere around him some great musicians like voclist from Enchant, drumer from defunct Eniac Requiem, so a good line up for prog metal. The music on this album entitled Angular perception from 2007 is very uptempo, with many odd twists and very strong musicianship. The conection with Enchant is inevitable when we have here Ted Leonard on voice from Enchant, but the music is much diffrent, more complex and is prog metal unlike his mother band who is more heavy prog with some pop elements here and there. Anyway Leonard did a great job here, showing he is capable to do other kind of vocal arrangements like in Enchant, here is more powerfull and even in places is more confident on his voice and his possiblities to explore more grounds. The main man of the band Harris is a great guitarist with many solo albums and many collaborations with other bands, besides his work with Arch Rival, he is the cherry on the cake on this album, some really intristing chops, great riffs and inteligent solos, made from this album to be a great discovery for prog metal fans. The drumer is excellent, he was aswell great in Eniac Requiem , so here is aswell a top notch musican. The music is very complex with some influences from Spastik Ink to Dream Theater in places, even some jazz fusion elements are there remind me of Anomaly (dutch prog metal band with jazz fusion elements) and even Gordian Knot. The resoult of this combination is outstanding, I was realy impressed by these musicins, very skilfull, very confident in their possibilities= a solid effort that worth every second. The best pieces are all, not a weak moment, all are very strong and shows how great this album is - specially on the three instrumental pieces, but the rest is also magnific. I will give 4 stars easely, among the best prog metal albums I've heared in years, recommended for sure.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A mind beyond

While I found Thought Chamber's second album - 2013's Psykerion - to be extremely impressive, this debut album by the band is considerably less impressive to my ears. Because I was so mightily impressed by Psykerion, I guess it is inevitable that I am going to relate this debut album of the band to that later masterpiece. When I first got interested in Thought Chamber I gave this debut album of the band a spin, but since it didn't capture my interest at first I moved on to Psykerion which grabbed me almost instantly and demanded many repeated listens and eventually led to a glowing five star review.

Six years separate the two albums by this band and the line-up is also considerably different with only guitarist and band leader Michael Harris and vocalist Ted Leonard of Enchant fame appearing on both albums. This time around the band was completed by Bobby Williamson on keyboards, Derek Blakley on bass, and Rob Stankiewicz on drums.

The two albums by Thought Chamber are really very different with Psykerion being a progressive Rock album with Metal elements and Angular Perceptions a 100% Metal album with some progressive elements. Whatever experimentation found here is firmly rooted in a Metal base. More precisely, this is a Neo-Classical Metal album very much in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. Another band also heavily influenced by Malmsteen is Symphony X and there are also similarities between them and Thought Chamber. There are also hints of Jazz-Rock/Fusion on Angular Perceptions but none of the Eclectic and Symphonic Prog elements of Psykerion. While Angular Perceptions is an entry in an established style and genre; Psykerion transcends established genres.

The difference between the two albums of the band is not just in the style, but also in the quality of the material. On both releases the band is highly skilled on their respective instruments, no doubt about that, but the songs here are much less memorable than those found on the otherworldly Psykerion. Leonard sings very well on both albums, but here he gets less room to express himself as he is confined within the format of this form of Metal music.

Personally, I enjoy this kind of music and I find Angular Perceptions to be a good album in its own right. But, unlike Psykerion, its appeal is restricted to the Metal crowd and it will likely not be of much interest to progressive Rock fans in general.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I originally came across this band after hearing and falling in love with the song 'Transmigration of Souls', and upon finding out that their singer was none other than Enchant's Ted Leonard, I just knew I had to have this album. One word: Wow. After a two minute instrumental opening track ... (read more)

Report this review (#1779225) | Posted by martindavey87 | Monday, September 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 55 minutes of energetic, mostly instrumental wankery (in a good sense) enters one ear and flies right out of other. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with this album. Technically impressive (guitar-oriented, but bass deserves special mention too), even moderately catchy, vocalist slight ... (read more)

Report this review (#1145108) | Posted by Progrussia | Sunday, March 9, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'll admit, I was impressed with the musicianship on this album. I was impressed on how obviously talented musicians managed to make such dull and boring music. A common problem I have with a lot of progressive metal bands is that they all more or less sound like more boring versions of Dream The ... (read more)

Report this review (#276371) | Posted by msphelps | Monday, April 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Another release from the usually reliable Inside Out Label. It took me a while to track this one down and now that I have, I wish I hadn't bothered. Like too many so called prog metal bands the playing is top notch from all concerned. However, there isn't a single memorable tune on the who ... (read more)

Report this review (#166035) | Posted by Paul R | Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is some catchy prog metal. Not the most original stuff, very Dream Theater influenced but the compositions are very strong. Sacred Treasure, Transmigration of Souls, and Gods of Oblique are especially strong, the latter being extremely catchy. Recomended to prog metal fans basically. ... (read more)

Report this review (#149778) | Posted by King Crimson776 | Friday, November 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I bought this one because of the Enchant connection but also because I liked the tracks on their MySpace page (very useful feature of MySpace that). Anyway, I liked what I heard and wanted more. And more is what I got. This is a very good album if a bit over-complex in places. I like that sort o ... (read more)

Report this review (#136148) | Posted by scarista | Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Angular Perceptions is simply another good album from INSIDEOUT label, a genuine prog metal with some fusion and jazz influences, well produced and well played, while not being so original. The album starts in a very good way. First three/four tracks are very stunning, SACRED TREASURE in particu ... (read more)

Report this review (#125422) | Posted by 3run3r | Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thought Chamber is yet another progressive metal band in a very big sea- do they have what it takes to stand out? Hailing from Dallas Texas, (also home of the band Stride) I think they have a GREAT shot! Premonition - A rocking starter, an intro song that settles into the next track Sacred T ... (read more)

Report this review (#114164) | Posted by Drew | Sunday, March 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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