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CRYPTIC VISION

Heavy Prog • United States


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Cryptic Vision biography
CRYPTIC VISION is a progressive rock band from Sarasota Florida. The band was formed in 2003 by multi-instrumentalist/producer Rick Duncan and vocalist Todd Plant. Rick had produced several albums for local and national artists and Todd had fronted the bands EYEWITNESS and MILLENNIUM as well as working with former DOOBIE BROTHERS and CHICAGO Members. CV's first album started primarily as a recording project with Todd, Rick and keyboardist Robert Van Dyne. It featured several guest musicians such as KANSAS violinist David Ragsdale, guitarist Ralph Santola (ICED EARTH, SEBASTIAN BACH, DEICIDE) and keyboardist Howard Helm (IAN HUNTER, ZON, REFUGE). In 2004 the band signed with Progrock Records and released it's first album "Moments of Clarity". In 2005 CV became a live act adding bass player/vocalist Sam Conable, guitarist/vocalist Tim Keese and keyboardist John Zahner. They started the year opening for KANSAS and in May they performed at the Rites of Spring festival in Phoenixville PA. The performance was recorded and became their second release "Live at ROSFest 2005". In 2006 CRYPTIC VISION returned to the studio and started work on their third album "In A World". Due to schedule conflicts John Zahner who was also recording and touring with Jon Oliva's PAIN was not available. Howard Helm was brought in to track keyboards and stayed on as a permanent member. The album was recorded more as a band project but also featured special guests David Ragsdale, Ralph Santola and SPOCK'S BEARD guitarist Al Morse. In June of 2006 CRYPTIC VISION released "In A World". They debuted the new live show at Calprog 2006. They also did opening shows for TOTO, KAMELOT and THE FLOWER KINGS. In 2007 CRYPTIC VISION helped ASIA kick of their 25th anniversary tour by opening their first show in Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. CRYPTIC VISION is currently finishing up tracking for their fourth album "Of Infinite Possibilities" which is slated for release in 2010.

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Moments of ClarityMoments of Clarity
ProgRock Records 2004
Audio CD$23.19
$4.18 (used)
Of Infinite PossibilitiesOf Infinite Possibilities
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$6.90
$32.96 (used)
In A WorldIn A World
Progrock Records 2012
Audio CD$8.98
$5.22 (used)
Live At ROSFestLive At ROSFest
Import
ProgRock Records 2005
Audio CD$15.95
$16.94 (used)
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CRYPTIC VISION discography


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

3.36 | 30 ratings
Moments of Clarity
2004
3.38 | 35 ratings
In A World
2006
3.73 | 25 ratings
Of Infinite Possibilities
2012

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

4.37 | 7 ratings
Live At RoSFest 2005
2005

CRYPTIC VISION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CRYPTIC VISION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CRYPTIC VISION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CRYPTIC VISION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars So, Florida based progressive rock quintet Cryptic Vision are back with their second studio album, and while in the past they have been likened at times to Spock's Beard and Kansas (among others), they have now taken that to the next stage by asking Alan Morse and David Ragsdale to guest on the new work. If these guys aren't careful they are going to find themselves being held in as much acclaim as those two bands, although this will also appeal to progheads of every style, whether it is he keyboard driven Saga, the symphonic harmonies of Yes or just lovers of good music.

This is prog that while looking backwards is also very much looking forward and is very much of the moment. Whatever you could possibly wish for in prog music you will find it here. Whether it is stomping solid bass lines, complex complicated rhythms that come together to make musical sense, great soaring vocals, tunes to stick in the skull, it is all here. For some reason I don't think that these guys have been getting as much publicity this side of the pond as they richly deserve ? let's hope that they play some dates over here soon to rectify that. This is progressive rock of the very highest quality.

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 Of Infinite Possibilities by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.73 | 25 ratings

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Of Infinite Possibilities
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars There are some bands that seem to fly under the radar, even in the progressive underground, and I have always been mystified as to why Cryptic Vision aren't far more well known. It certainly isn't down to lack of musical ability, songs, hooks and prog timings as these guys have all of the chops. They may not be the most prolific when it comes to releases but the same can be said of most of the bands in the genre. However, after a five year gap they are back with the conclusion to the trilogy 'Moments Of Clarity In A World Of Infinite Possibilities'. The five guys behind Cryptic Vision are main songwriter, drummer, guitarist and keyboard player Rick Duncan, vocalist Todd Plant (Eyewitness, Millenium), keyboard player Howard Helm (Zon, Refugee), bassist Sam Conable and guitarist Tim Kesse but they have also brought in some guests in the form of David Ragsdale (Kansas), Gary Schutt, John Zahner, Shawn Bowen, John Leblanc, Mike Carello and Carrie Preston.

The note density and complexity is off the scale, while intricacy and harmony vocals are also the order of the day. It is almost as if Spock's Beard and Gentle Giant have combined forces with Kansas and Presto Ballet to produce something very special indeed. This is prog that is very much for today but also looks back with loads of references to great bands of the past that have somehow been melded together into something that is just incredible. It is immediate, with a very American feel, yet it also has incredible depth and the more that it is played the more the listener will get from it. I remember that before I left the UK I played one of their albums virtually non stop in the car, and even back then I couldn't believe that this wasn't a name familiar to all progheads. If you enjoy prog, and you must do otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, then you owe it to your ears to investigate further. Visit www.therecordlabel.net and listen to some samples

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 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's too bad I was hungry when I stumbled upon this album.

It still left me hungry for more.

Cryptic Vision is a band of guys from Florida, clearly a state where the sun is always shining and where bad and imperfection doesn't exist. Apparently. This disc clearly shows that it's constantly major "happy music" is supposed to resemble some sort of utopia, evidenced by the lyrics in such aptly named tracks like "This Dream", "The Balance" and "In A World". Judging by the production alone, this record is hyped to be something amazing in the world of prog. In reality, it's just left me wanting more.

Take the title sequence, for instance. It's supposed to begin with an overture, and the slow building 40 second intro promises greatness, but the overture is just bland, lacking, not exciting enough to pull me into a 16 minute juggernaut. The Spanish flavored interlude brings some life into the track, but it's just not enough to salvage it. Hopefully, you'd say, that's only one song.

But no, it's all of them. Even the one instrumental track "Merkaba" fails to provide any instrumental prowess of any kind.

Some of the brighter sides include the heavy "I Am The Energy" and the Dream Theater- Spock's Beard-esque "Power To Mend", the former showing that these pacifists don't mind getting angry once in a while, while the later provides a little bit of red and blue to this disc of black and white.

Overall, though, it's not an entirely bad album. It's just that this disc fails to provide anything new, interesting or unexpected on this album in the wide world of prog. This disc was hyped to stand out in the crowded sea of new bands, but in reality, it's just a fish out of water.

Perhaps Richard Hammond was right. Much like James May's driving laps, this record lasts over an hour long and makes no sense to anyone.

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 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I do feel that this is a step up from the debut but it's still barely a 3 star album. I'm just not into KANSAS or bands that sound like them or have that AOR style. Just sayin'. This is an improvement though. Ragsdale is back guesting on violin and SPOCK'S BEARD guitarist Alan Morse also helps out along with some other guests.

"In A World" is spacey to start then it kicks in before 2 minutes.The tempo will shift throughout. Reserved vocals and strummed guitar before 5 minutes. A fuller sound a minute later takes over.Violin before 9 minutes as it settles right down. Reserved vocals follow. A Spanish section comes in before 10 minutes then it changes back with a long guitar solo. A calm before 13 minutes and reserved vocals return. It kicks back in one more time. Quite the ambitious opener. "This Dream Part I" is a short piece with strummed guitar and reserved vocals. "Common Ground" has a nice heavy sound that comes in quickly including vocals. Synths lead 3 minutes in then a calm before the vocals and a fuller sound return. "Merkaba" is uptempo and violin comes in before a minute. Guitar then synths follow.

"All Along" opens with piano as vocals join in. Some backing vocals too. "The Space Inbetween" is uptempo until it settles with vocals and strummed guitar.It gets fuller. A guitar solo before 3 minutes. "I Am The Energy" has some great sounding bass early on then vocals come in. Some light riffs then more prominant bass 3 minutes in. "Point Of View" has vocals a minute in. Not a fan of this one at all.Too poppy. "Power To Mend" is kind of spacey then it kicks in quickly.Vocals around 2 minutes. It settles down after 4 minutes.The guitar solos after 5 1/2 minutes and piano then vocals follow. "Find" has these melancholic background synths that I like. "The Balance" opens with synths then organ and a beat take over followed by vocals and harmonies.Very KANSAS-like. "This Dream Part II / In A World Reprise" doesn't sound that good to me, mainly the vocals, but the overall sound too.The second part is better as strummed guitar and reserved vocals take over but then it gets fuller and the vocals take a turn for the worse.

As I said earlier this is barely 3 stars for me.

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 Moments of Clarity by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.36 | 30 ratings

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Moments of Clarity
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Well this does come as advertised with that AOR flavour and a KANSAS / STYX vibe. I really have had a hard time enjoying this mainly because this just isn't the style of music I can appreciate.

"Introspective" is the opening instrumental and we get some spacey atmosphere to start before a beat, synths then a full sound kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes.This is good. Violin after 3 minutes and the guitar solos late. "New Perspective" sounds like a KANSAS track unfortunately and I don't like the harmonies. "Contemplation" opens with some good sounding atmosphere. Spoken words before 2 minutes then it kicks in with vocals. A guitar solo a minute later. "Grand Design" is my favourite track. A heavy beat to start and when the vocals arrive they remind me of YES. Heavy drums are back before 4 minutes. Some guitar and organ follow then harmonies. "Angeline" features some heaviness early then it settles some when the vocals arrive.The heaviness does come and go.The lyrics are too syrupy here. "Losing Faith" is mainly strummed guitar,vocals and piano. Sappy lyrics too.

"Angel's Requiem" is melancholic with piano and organ.Some good vocal melodies and drums arrive late. "Clored Leaf" is piano and reserved vocals. It picks up some after 2 minutes and gets fuller. Some wicked guitar follows. "Shock Value" opens with experimental sounds then it kicks in with vocals. Not a fan. "Moments Of Clarity" opens with atmosphere then it turns uptempo before a minute.Violin 2 1/2 minutes in.The atmosphere is back after 3 minutes then it kicks back in with vocals a minute later. Ripping guitar after 11 minutes. "Ascension" is a pleasnt closer with vocals. Some violin after 3 1/2 minutes.

A long listen for me even if it is under an hour. I hear their next album is better. I'll let you know. Fans only.

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 Moments of Clarity by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.36 | 30 ratings

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Moments of Clarity
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Facing the front cover of this album and knowing that this CD is related to progressive rock,you almost can imagine what to expect.After PRESTO BALLET,CRYPTIC VISION is another US band that tries to bring the 70's spirit of KANSAS,YES,STYX and SUPERTRAMP to surface in a modern hard progressive way.And I admit they have done it in a good way...

The members of the band aren't amateur musicians.In fact they are very experienced like Todd Plant,Rick Duncan and of course David Ragsdale.That is also obvious also by the songs' format as none of them has obvious weaknesses.The band is very much influenced by KANSAS and secondly a MAGELLAN- and SAGA related sound is also evident.The album to almost a full hour of music approachable also for non-prog listeners...

''Introspective'' is a great intro with stunning musicianship,great keyboard and guitar work here, followed by ''New prespective'',which sounds like a modern KANSAS tribute.''Contemplation'' is a nice mellow track with beautiful melodic SAGA-like ending theme.''Grand design'' is an alternating complex/melodic track in the vein of SUPERTRAMP and MAGELLAN.At this point of the work begin some ballad-like tracks,among them are ''Angeline'' (cheesy and AOR-ish,rather weak),''Losing faith'',''Coloured leaf'' (both in the vein of KANSAS/STYX/AOR,nice tracks) and ''Ascension'' (a YES/KANSAS combination).''Angels requiem'' is an opera/classical influenced piece of music with female operatic vocals,while ''Shock value'' is a hard rocking,almost metal speed track reminiding me of ARTENSION with John West-like angry vocals.''Moments of clarity'' is the 12 min.epic of the album with influences by YES,KANSAS and SUPERTRAMP, a very good easy-listening track with decent performance by all the members...

It is obvious that CRYPTIC VISION tried not th show music skills but to have fun and create an accesible prog rock album with catchy songs in a progressive way.This is a very enjoyable album and a good break between prog efforts that really take a lot of spins to appreciate.So,have a break,listening to this album that combines 70's prog,heavy prog,AOR and hard rock in an nice way...3 stars...

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 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This Florida-based progressive rock artist has previously released the critically acclaimed "Moments of Clarity" followed by "In A World" which had a chance being played as opening act for Asia concert on June 13, 2007 in Sarasota, Florida. The lead singer Todd Plant, also performs with the classic rock groups The Chet McCracken Band, Santana Tribute Band "Supernatural", and the corporate variety band "Southtown Fever". The musical characteristics of the band is keyboard-driven, be it as altar sounds with long sustain play or as solo. The band's music is blend of Kansas, Saga, Supertramp, Pallas, and sometimes it has some Rush components as well. In this album, Rick Duncan wrote all the music and about half of the lyrics with Sam wrote the lyrics for 2 songs and Todd wrote the lyrics for one. Some of the songs were co-written by Rick, Todd and Sam.

Keyboard-driven music featuring violin .

The album opens with a bit bombastic epic "In A World" which might please those of you who love symphonic prog in mellow style like neo progressive. There are quite memorable segments throughout the passage of the music especially when organ / keyboards play at the background or some breaks with nice piano work. Even though there is practically no syncopation but I can find varied time signatures. David Ragsdale of Kansas features violin solo at approx 8:46 when the music breaks into the like of Kansas, especially when vocal enters. It then moves to nice jazzy part combined with excellent acoustic guitar backed with latin music style.

"Common Ground" (4:37) is very Kansas especially during the intro part and the melody line. Todd's voice timbre is somewhat similar with Steve Walsh. "Merkaba" (3:14) brings the music into heavier style with nice keyboard work and some syncopated segments. "All Along" (5:09) is a piano-based music in the vein of Kansas. "The Space in Between" (4:58) moves the music in a bit complex composition with ELP-like keyboard at intro. Nice guitar solo in the middle of the track. "I Am the Energy" (4:10) maintains the dynamics and energy of previous track. Another long track "Power to Mend" (10:03) starts nicely with mellow keyboard solo augmented with guitar follows. The music suddenly blasts off in progressive metal like riffs and moves in crescendo into louder sounds and faster tempo. Todd sings with his full power here. The music is quite interesting - with Kansas sound. The album closing track "This Dream Part II/In a World (Reprise)" (5:03) sounds like closing all chapters they have opened throughout the album.

This album is recommended to those who like melodic prog with keyboard-driven music augmented with guitar solo. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Moments of Clarity by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.36 | 30 ratings

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Moments of Clarity
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Garion81
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After years of being a fan of prog Rick Duncan decided to take the plunge and write and record a prog album. Joining forces with vocalist Todd Plant Rick came up with 11 tracks coming in just under an hour.

WARNING: For those who hate the vocals of Journey, Styx and Kansas or anything else you consider AOR to the point that it ruins the music for you stop reading now and go on to other groups. You won't like this!

For those of you more open to such things then this is a good album. Outside of a few keyboard parts Robert Van Dyne plays and a couple of great violin solos from David Ragsdale (Kansas) all the other instruments are handled by Duncan while Plant does all the vocals. The album lacks some feeling of being finished and I would think that comes form the fact Rick, while competent is not a master of everything he plays.

The album is a concept album of a man who has tsuffers the tradgedy of his wife dying that brings him to question what he believes and it is his search within and without that constitutes the story. The music is passionate and emotional to match this story. Rick Duncan is influenced by Kansas, Spock's Beard (although I would guess it is Kerry Livgren and Neal Morse more specifically) as well as Dream Theater and Yes. These are influences are apparent with out being derivative. Still there is plenty to like in songs like Introspective, The Grand Design, Shock Value, Moments of Clarity and Ascension. The songs are well crafted even the more simpler tracks like Angeline and Colored Leaf. I look forward to future works from this group.

3.5 stars

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 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, there's another nice new band in progworld. Where do they all come from ? They shoot up like mushrooms the last few years. I mean: Magic Pie, Knight Area, Sun Caged, Redemption, Mind's Eye, Apple Pie and this band: Cryptic Vision (and no doubt a lot of bands I don't even know yet or have forgotten to mention). They are all very good and relatively new and it shows prog is really alive. It makes me feel really good. There can't be enough great prog to me, so keep bringing them on !

What is Cryptic Vision like ? I think it sounds a bit like Magic Pie (vocals !) although I feel CV is more polished and smooth than the somewhat rawer sounding Magic Pie. I'm not sure about the classification Heavy prog, it could also be neo prog or crossover or even prog related to me. It shows that this band is hard to pigeon-hole. I think it sounds very nice, the melodic aspect is ok, compositions could be better, maybe someting they can improve on. Common ground, Space in between and Point of view are my favourite tracks, it resambles a bit of the accessability of the latest Rocket Scientists album, though they sound quite different, really. But the similarity lies in the fact it's hardly true prog. It has certainly quality but you could almost call it very good pop music. On the other hand there are a few epic like tracks on this album so I think all in all this is prog to me. But a peculiar sort of.

I think Cryptic Vision shows potential with this album and I'm looking for ward to the next one. 3 stars for this (3,25).

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 In A World by CRYPTIC VISION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.38 | 35 ratings

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In A World
Cryptic Vision Heavy Prog

Review by Garion81
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Invoking the spirit of 70's bands Yes and Kansas as well as more contemporary artists Spock's Beard and Dream Theater Cryptic Vision is out to prove that you can create well made accessible prog in this day and age. I find it refreshing that the band doesn't resort to noise, long electronic parts or have to change its time signature every 15 measures to prove the music is intelligent, sophisticated or progressive. On this release this is now a band as the first CD was more of solo project between vocalist Todd Plant and Drummer Rick Duncan. This CD adds the talents of Tim Keese guitars and vocals, Sam Conable bass and vocals and Howard Helm (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Steinhardt Moon) on keyboards and vocals.

People might use the word derivative and I won't argue the influences behind the band. The question is are they being derivative to copy another band or are they building on the influences? My answer with this band and this recording is the latter. The album starts off with the 16 minute title epic track In a World. This piece has several movements to it both vocally and instrumentally. Todd Plant sings some very emotional and spiritual lyrics reminiscent of Steve Walsh and Dennis De Young. I said it in another review I'll say it again Todd Plant has a great voice in a world of really bad prog singers. If that is AOR than fine I am a fan of AOR and proud of it. I would rather be a fan of that than something like the vocalist of the Tangent who's voice is grating and silly in parts. The piece also contains a good violin solo by David Ragsdale. The piece ends up with a very emotional climax and leads into the second song an acoustic song called The Dream Pt 1.

This is not a ballad but a segue form the first number to the third Common Ground and fourth, Merkaba, an instrumental. These two pieces really builds on what Kansas tried to create many years ago with some really nice instrumental hard rock parts built around a really good song. Merkaba is a high energy piece that Kansas would stick into a middle of song like Miracles out of Nowhere or Myriad.

The next part of the CD moves into a more modern sounding progressive rock. All Along, The Space In Between and I am the Energy are reminiscent of mid 90's Spock's Beard. Very emotional vocals over some power guitar or keyboard with some moving instrumental bridges and good solos. Power to Mend is a very powerful song cutting guitar and Hammond parts along with great vocal line.

Point of View is the only song I don't really like. It's not bad but a very average song compared to the rest. It does have another great violin solo by Ragsdale in it so I can't just say filler. Power to Mend is a song that took me a long time to like in fact it wasn't till I saw them live that I really appreciated it. The vocal line that accompanies the words "We have the Power to mend We have the Will to Survive" is a little sing songy to me but the rest of the music and harmonies are outstanding. Very Yes like in parts of the vocals this is maybe their most ambitious song on the CD.

Find, The Balance and The Dream Pt II /In a World Reprise end the CD with some very good progy parts. Great Keyboards guitars and grooves spotlight these pieces with the final revisiting the ending of the opening suite.

All in all a CD that I put away for a month and take out and still sounds fresh. This is really the fist CD for the band and I think the next is going to be even better. For fans of American Prog in the vein of Kansas, Spock's Beard, Early Styx and maybe even some Dream Theater fans might like this. 4 stars.

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