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CLOSED DOORS TO OPEN PLAINS

Seasons Of Time

Neo-Prog


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Seasons Of Time Closed Doors to Open Plains album cover
2.83 | 27 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. An Overture in my Head
02. Expectations I
03. Someone
04. Bite the Bullet
05. Closing Doors
06. Burning Bridges I
07. Fuzz & Buzz
08. A Step Ahead Behind
09. The Station at the Border of the Mind
10. Expectations II
11. You're Not Needed Anymore
12. There are Times
13. Ignorance
14. Expectations III
15. Burning Bridges II
16. Wide Open Plains

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


Dirk Berger: Bass, Keyboards and additional Guitars and Vocals
Malte Twarloh: Vocals, Guitars and additional Keyboards
Florian Wenzel: Guitars
Marco Grühn: Drums

With
Kelly Bell (K-ly-Bell): Additional Voice
Pete Harrison: Horns on Track 12

Releases information

CD Progressive Promotion Records

Thanks to apps79 for the addition
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SEASONS OF TIME Closed Doors to Open Plains ratings distribution


2.83
(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
15%
Good, but non-essential (56%)
56%
Collectors/fans only (19%)
19%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SEASONS OF TIME Closed Doors to Open Plains reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have such mixed feelings on this second album from Seasons of Time. I wouldn't call it a mixed bag; however, I do feel that there is a certain inconsistency here that I would like to address. This German band has an awesome style of music that brings all the best elements of the neo-progressive style into one neat, tight package. However, there is more lying under the surface.

Opening with the drawn out sound of birds and the great outdoors, "Closed Doors to Open Plains" builds wonderful suspense and anticipation, perhaps a bit too much. However, Seasons of Time has crafted an album of sixteen tracks that tend to be shorter, but all connected. Their interesting themes that seem to have to do with relationships are captivating, especially in the way the emotion comes through in the music,

Indeed, the music is simply fantastic. It's top-notch, top tier stuff. Guitars raise the hair on our necks with searing solos and theatrics, the keyboards are perfectly tuned and expertly composed, the drums are perfectly technical and never pretentious, and the bass is rollicking and foot-stompingly good. Yes, the music, as I said, takes all the best elements and makes them even better. If this were an instrumental album, it would certainly get full stars from me.

However, "Closed Doors to Open Plains" isn't instrumental. Vocalist Malte Twarloh is present, and I wish to high heaven that he weren't. This guy can't sing. It's that simple. His voice is off-key, his pronunciation could use some work and flow, and he simply does not have a pleasant sound. But, it gets worse. The lyrics are truly awful. From the very first verse, you get that feeling. Not only are the lyrics badly written, but they are cheesy and even vulgar at points. For me, progressive music is too classy to resort to dropping f-bombs for no apparent reason. I'm all for it if the situation calls for it, but Dirk seems to drop them for the hell of it. It really ruins the beautiful atmosphere and the overall character of the music.

So, there is a clear division here. Seasons of Time has composed an amazing album. However, they've failed miserably on the lyrical and vocal end of things. Thank goodness, then, that most of the album is indeed instrumental, and there are many instrumental tracks. Dirk isn't all bad, as I enjoyed his work on "Closing Doors", but that's about it. However, the sheer amount of favorite instrumental tracks is staggering, as I just love "Bite the Bullet", "Burning Bridges I and II", "Fuzz & Buzz", "The Station at the Border of the Mind", and others. So, essentially, what we have here is tight music mixed with sloppy vocals and lyrics.

Seasons of Time is still worth your money. This is a definite buy for anyone that loves neo- prog. However, be warned that the album has some unpleasant, rough moments. Though, if you are in it for the music only, you will be thrilled.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Prog Team
2 stars For numerous reasons, most of them concerned with line-up changes, it has taken 17 years for Seasons of Time to return with the follow-up to 'Behind The Mirror'. Dirk Berger (bass, keyboards, vocals) has been there since the beginning, while Malte Twarloh (vocals, guitar, keys) also sang on the debut but prior to coming back for this recording left the band in 2006, with the line-up now completed by guitarist Florian Wenzel and drummer Marco Gruhn. Here we have a classic case of an album that could actually be great, but has failed on a somewhat important hurdle, that of the vocals. While musically this is a really right outfit with a lot going for them, the vocals just don't work for me. I have tried, really tried, and have managed to get to the point where they are almost bearable, but they just are nowhere near the standard of the music that is playing underneath. I haven't heard the debut, so can't state if they are the same there, but when the singer has problems keeping on a note, obvious issues with breath control for sustain, then one has to wonder.

It is almost as if there are two sets of recordings here, with a top notch band recording some great music in a studio, while the vocals have been added from a demo tape. It is incredibly frustrating as if they had turned this into a pure instrumental album then it would actually have a lot more going for it, with neo-prog moving into a more prog metal territory. It has taken them an age to record their second album, but unless they change their approach I can't see there being a great deal of demand for a third. If this was purely instrumental then it would be a 3.5/4 for me, but as it stands then it is 2.5 at absolute best. www.progressive-promotion.de

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars German band SEASONS OF TIME was formed back in 1993, and released their debut album "Behind the Mirror" four years later. Then this project went underground, and following a lengthy spell of apparent inactivity they reappeared in 2014 with their second album "Closed Doors to Open Plains", which was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

Seasons of Time has made what I'd described as a flawed production with their second full length recording "Closed Doors to Open Plains". The music as such is rather enjoyable admittedly, but the detrimental presence of the lead vocals becomes too much of an annoying feature, at least for me. Those not as concerned with the quality of the lead vocals might find this CD to be an enjoyable affair though, then first and foremost those who enjoy neo progressive rock created in the spirit of the symphonic oriented neo bands from the early 90's.

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