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ANIMATOR

Neo-Prog • United States


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Animator biography
ANIMATOR are an Illinois neo-prog band with a symphonic approach. Sounding more like a UK than an American band, they have been compared to late 80's IQ and PALLAS, circa "The Wedge". But groups like YES, MARILLION and especially mid-period RUSH seem to best characterize their material. Their line-up consists of Tim Brooks on lead and backing vocals, Jay Hawkins on bass, midi pedals and backing vocals, John Hawkins on drums, percussion and backing vocals, Stacey Kreici on keyboards and backing vocals, and Rik Ruzga on electric and acoustic guitars.

Their only album, "Gallery", released in 1990, features lush, intricate keyboards, some interesting guitar work and introspective/poetic lyrics with a spiritual slant. Tim Brooks' high-pitched vocals are mildly reminiscent of Neil Peart. This self-produced album, however, is not without flaws: Brook's vocals are sometimes off and can be a tad irritating. The overall production isn't perfect either: it is muddy and tends to dull most of the high tones. Finally, the arrangements are clever but so dense that they almost bury the vocals. But the cd does contain some interesting melodies, featuring some great vocal harmonies la early STYX, and the playing is generally well executed.

Not essential but a nice addition to a neo-progger's collection.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Buy ANIMATOR Music


GalleryGallery
independent
Audio CD$10.00
$13.99 (used)
The Endo EPThe Endo EP
Charming Yet Ill Records 2009
Audio CD$10.00
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Re-Animator - Laughing CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 4h 55m
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17h 11m
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17h 11m
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1 day
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Re-Animator - Paul Roland (2008, CD New) USD $23.12 Buy It Now 1 day
RE-ANIMATOR Definitive Edition SOUNDTRACK - autographd RICHARD BAND CD Signed! USD $55.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Animator USD $16.42 Buy It Now 1 day
Beyond Re-Animator - OST USD $18.51 Buy It Now 1 day
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RE-ANIMATOR Definitive Edition SOUNDTRACK - autographd RICHARD BAND CD Signed! USD $44.99 [0 bids]
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LUYAS**ANIMATOR**CD USD $13.78 Buy It Now 2 days
Re-Animator Variant Vinyl Wax Work Records OOP 1st Printing Never Played USD $35.00 [0 bids]
USD $80.00 Buy It Now
2 days
LUYAS**ANIMATOR (LIMITED EDITION/180 GRAM/DOWNLOAD)**2 VINYL SET USD $9.91 Buy It Now 2 days
Re-Animator Condemned to Eternity CD new USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
PULL TIGER TAIL - ANIMATOR - VERY RARE DEBUT 7" SINGLE USD $11.71 Buy It Now 3 days
O.S.T. RICHARD BAND RE-ANIMATOR USD $49.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Re-Animator - That Was Then...This IS Now - Cassette 1993 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 4 days
The Luyas - Animator - 10 Track USD $6.24 Buy It Now 4 days
LUYAS - ANIMATOR NEW VINYL USD $26.07 Buy It Now 5 days
Beyond Re Animator (ost) - Xavier Capellas New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shippi USD $23.39 Buy It Now 5 days
THE LUYAS-ANIMATOR 10-TRACK PROMO CD C18 # USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Animator Luyas Audio CD USD $20.87 Buy It Now 5 days
XAVIER CAPELLAS - BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR - NEW CD USD $13.24 Buy It Now 5 days
Re-Animator Back Of The Head E.P. 12" Great Asset 1991 USD $17.18 Buy It Now 6 days
Animator 0656605137124, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $20.14 Buy It Now 6 days
RE-ANIMATOR - CONDEMNED TO ETERNITY/DENY REALITY - NEW CD USD $10.68 Buy It Now 7 days
Re-Animator - That Was Then... This Is Now CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Re-Animator Deny Reality UK vinyl LP album record MFLAG32 UNDER ONE FLAG 1989 USD $29.63 Buy It Now 8 days
Xavier Capellas-Beyond Re-Animator - Ost CD NEW USD $17.19 Buy It Now 9 days
RE-ANIMATOR Laughing LP Under One Flag UK 1990 Made in France FLAG 53 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9 days
PAUL ROLAND - RE-ANIMATOR * - NEW CD USD $27.24 Buy It Now 9 days
SIGNED - Re-Animator Green Vinyl LP Richard Band + Poster, Pic USD $300.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Animator Gallery Cassette Private Release Neo-Prog Urbana IL 1990 RARE EXCELLENT USD $27.99 Buy It Now 9 days
RE-ANIMATOR CONDEMNED TO ETERNITY DENY REALITY JAPAN CD 2300yen CSCS 1ST PRESS USD $129.99 Buy It Now 9 days
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Beyond Re-Animator [DVD] DVD USD $3.61 Buy It Now 11 days
RE-ANIMATOR (Richard Band) very rare original mint stereo cult lp (1985) USD $100.00 Buy It Now 12 days
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RE-ANIMATOR CD - ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK - NEW UNOPENED - RICHARD BAND USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13 days
RE-ANIMATOR - Condemned To Eternity - 1990 Magazine Advertisment Poster USD $7.04 Buy It Now 14 days
Various Artists Beyond Re-Animator CD USD $17.92 Buy It Now 14 days
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RARE OOP The Re-Animator + Bride Of CD SOUNDTRACK Silva Screen RICHARD BAND 1991 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Luyas - Animator 2 LP Vinyl Record LP USD $28.39 Buy It Now 15 days
Re-animator - Deny Reality (Under One Flag) (Metal/Thrash) Lp USD $14.06 Buy It Now 15 days
Condemned To Eternity - Re-Animator (2011, CD New) USD $10.38 Buy It Now 15 days
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Animator - Luyas USD $11.64 Buy It Now 15 days
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Re-Animator - Condemned to Eternity / Deny Reality CD 1990 thrash Kraze press USD $9.95 Buy It Now 15 days
Beyond Re-Animator - OST USD $20.94 Buy It Now 15 days
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THE LUYAS - ANIMATOR [DIGIPAK] - NEW CD USD $10.53 Buy It Now 17 days
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SEALED RE-Animator Condemned to Eternity 1990 Metal Cassette NEW USD $16.97 Buy It Now 17 days
SLAMMER - The Work Of Idle Hands - LP 1989 - ACID REIGN, RE-ANIMATOR, UK THRASH USD $18.75 Buy It Now 17 days
RE-ANIMATOR Deny Reality Ex+ 1989 France Under One Flag LP USD $10.93 Buy It Now 17 days
RE-ANIMATOR laughing CD ORG 1st Press 1991 Under One Flag ?- CDFLAG 53 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 18 days
The Luyas Animator 2 LP Vinyl Set New S/S Factory Sealed & DL Arcade Fire USD $14.99 Buy It Now 18 days
Pull Tiger Tail Animator CD single (CD5 / 5") UK YALCD0009 USD $16.42 Buy It Now 19 days
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Xavier Capellas - Beyond Re-Animator - OST - SWR13001 USD $20.62 Buy It Now 19 days
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PULL TIGER TAIL - ANIMATOR - RARE DEBUT PROMO CD USD $11.71 Buy It Now 19 days
Re-Animator - Condemned To Eternity LP UK 1990 EX/EX # Thrash USD $23.45 Buy It Now 20 days
BAND, Richard - Re Animator (Soundtrack) - 180 gram coloured vinyl LP USD $43.92 Buy It Now 20 days
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Animator USD $18.69 Buy It Now 22 days
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ANIMATOR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANIMATOR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 15 ratings
Gallery
1990

ANIMATOR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ANIMATOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Unknown US band from Central Illinois, but definitely among the pioneers of the Prog revival in the USA, performing a more demanding style of music in a still dark period.The live performances indicate that Animator, aka Tim Brooks on lead vocals, Rik Ruzga on guitar, Jay Hawkins on bass, John Hawkins on drums and Stacey Kreici on keyboards, were active since the early-80's and their only effort was the obscure ''Gallery'' album from 1990, released on the unknown Rotamina Records.

Animator delivered a very ENCHANT-like Neo Prog with also references to compatriots NEPENTHE and CATHEDRAL, before these bands even existed or released anything.The sound remains grounded on the lighter side of Progressive Rock with strong RUSH influences throughout, based on the warm, sensitive and clear voice of vocalist Tim Brooks and the use of more spiritual lyrics.The music is melodic, mostly guitar-driven Progressive Rock with an epic atmosphere at moments produced by the clever use of synthesizers and the less used but elegant piano parts of Kreici .Rik Ruzga offers non-stop series of catchy guitar moves, the rhythm section is also very tight and the songs, though not particularly complicated, contain a fair amount of breaks.What does not sound quite good are the sometimes high-pitched vocals of Brooks and a certain similarity between the tracks' structure.

The band seems to have been alive since the early-90's.After Animator one or more members reputedly participated in a full-blown Prog concept of Starcastle's Gary Strater named Lush, which never officially released an album.

Good ENCHANT-like Melodic Prog with nice vocal harmonies and a very epic atmosphere at moments.Warmly recommended to all fans of the light side of Prog.

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 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by gingernut

4 stars The previous review of this album prompts me to also have a say about it. It is indeed a fine album and what a pity they did not follow it up. The previous reviewer described this as neo-prog, but don't expect to hear anything like IQ or Pendragon. Animator's style is more in the vein of Enchant. In other words complex rock with a thick progressive edge. I'd say Animator are a little more laid back than Enchant - more emphasis on piano and other keys, they never really rock out, but have a good sense of dynamics. Importantly, the material is very strong. Well worth seeking out.

Strong 4 stars

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 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Animator - this neo prog band from Illionois, USA, is an obscure band that manage to release only one album in 1990 named simply Gallery at Rotamina records. But I come now and say it loud, what an album, excellent from first to last note, unexpected pleasent surprise. I can compare with for ex Iq with some symphonic prog moments not far from UK. Great musicianship, inventive passages, very good pieces and above all an one hell of a keyboard player - Stacey Kreici - the cherry on the cake here. I must considered this unknown album as one of the most great neo prog albums from entire neo prog zone. Better then many neo albums praised all the time here, quite original in places, with strong ideas and solod arrangements. The voice is ok, fits perfectly in this kind of music,Tim Brooks is a great vocalist with a superb tone of voice, not like almost all other neo prog singers who sound like Peter Gabriel meets Fish, he is diffrent and good for sure. The music is complex, quite more complex then an usual neo prog album, developed, lenghty from 11 pieces, 6 alre over 7 min, enough room to show us thy know bussines in this domein. They succeded for sure with this Gallery, smooth piano or keyboards passages who interludes with guitar in a perfect manner. I must tanks a friend of mine from Turkeya prog lover like me, who gives me this album, because I, after 2 years of searching high and low of this album I lost the battle, but surprise surprise, he gives me a copy of this unknown and almost forgoten tresure of this subgenre. Great stuff, my fav pieces, A First Impression - the opening track, shows the excellent ideas this band had, only piano and bass - superb piece and very elegant, remind me a litle of Savatage in atmosphere, Cycles another worthy track and Choices, the rest are very ok. So a very strong album, desearves for sure 4 stars, quite unknown by many but worth to be discoverd for sure. Elegant and with a lot to offer, all neo prog fans must listen to this treasure, even those who like symphonic prog will find something intristing in some passages. Recommended, 4 stars easely. It's a shame that bands with such talent and imaginative ideas gone unnoticed in prog circles and with each year passing by they fall into oblivion deeper and deeper. Sad

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 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Another dive into the unknown with this Gallery by Animator, a band I never heard of till recently. That's what happens when you want to check out all those neobands, you will have to gamble every once in a while. It will lead to one of my shorter reviews because Animator appeared to be an average band so no epical stories this time.

Most dominant aspect of the bands music are the vocals to me and for two reasons. First they decided to let the vocals be a major factor in (most of) their songs and second these vocals don't appeal to me at all. It's not that they are poor, it's more the way of singing that bothers me. It's a bit of a whining voice and I don't know if it's a deliberate choice to sing this way or that it's simply the way Tim Brooks sings but whichever it is I can't get used to it in a positive way. And that's a pity because it turns out to be one of the main reasons why I will give the rating of my choice in the end.

Another thing that was slightly disappointing to me are the instrumental contributions in most of the songs. One of the reasons I like neo is those instrumental parts in songs. They are there in some of the songs like some fine guitar passages but they are rare and worse is that the keyboards play an insignificant part in the songs. Exception to this are the opening and final song where the piano tunes are really nice. The only other track that impressed me is Inward Collapse with great guitar play.

Not a very positive review, I know and it could lead to the assumption that this is a poor album but actually it's not quite the case. Most of the none mentioned tracks are average but that doesn't mean they are bad or poor. And I also have to say that if you have no problems with the vocals this is really a nice album. To me it can lead to one final score only and that is three stars.

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 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by Grendelbox

5 stars At the first time I heard ENCHANT's Debut-CD "A blueprint of the world" back in 1995, it directly remembered me to "ANIMATOR's Gallery"-CD which is released five years before in 1990. If you like the kind of "Enchant"-style, this is definitive your CD. Sometimes I think ANIMATOR is the musical template for the 5 years later founded ENCHANT. A CD you won't miss in your collection. 10 timeless songs on a masterpiece. 5 Stars.

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 Gallery by ANIMATOR album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.67 | 15 ratings

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Gallery
Animator Neo-Prog

Review by biotex2000

4 stars A fine blend of tunes, seemingly influenced by RUSH, Genesis and Pink Floyd. Twins Jay & John Hawkins are sublime instrumentalists creating a seamless rhythm section that never loses it's focus or direction. Woulda been nice to see some follow-on albums growing outward from this admirable debut piece.

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