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TIME TRAVELLER

Heavy Prog • Finland


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Time Traveller biography
Time Traveller is the brainchild of Juhani Nisula, a Finnish multi-instrumentalist. In his first 2008 release (the first installment in a trilogy of albums) on the Finnish label, Presence Records, he created a fine amalgam of styles, dominated by the heavy guitar sound. Juhani plays almost everything on the album, with Zeko Takamäki on the drums & percussion, Timo Ristilä, who plays Moog solo on 'Part One: The Pioneers' and violinist Sanna Ågren, who plays the violin parts on 'Part Seven: The Release'.
This is a heavy-prog album infused with elements found on 70's symphonic prog albums particualrly those featuring heavy keyboards work.

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Chapters I&IIChapters I&II
Import
Nordic Notes 2009
Audio CD$11.06
$10.36 (used)
Chapters Three And FourChapters Three And Four
Presence Records
Audio CD$14.95 (used)
TIME TRAVELLER My Love is Guaranteed Dutch 12TIME TRAVELLER My Love is Guaranteed Dutch 12"
Club Nautique
Vinyl$18.00 (used)
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TIME TRAVELLER discography


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

3.42 | 12 ratings
Chapters I & II
2008
3.29 | 11 ratings
Chapters III & IV
2011

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

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TIME TRAVELLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chapters I & II by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.42 | 12 ratings

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Chapters I & II
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Time Traveller begun somewhere in mid-00's as the personal vehicle of Finnish multi-instrumentalist Juhani Nisula, based on an idea circulating in his mind already from the 80's.He recorded his first work between January 06' and November 07' at his own Magic Mushroom Studio on an old 16-tracker, helped by drummer Zeko Takamaki and with the participation of violinist Sanna Agren and keyboardist Timo Ristila in one track each.The title was ''Chapters I & II'', part of a three-part trilogy according to Nisula, and the album was released in 2008 on Presence Records.

The album is split in the two different chapters, each consisting of five instrumental pieces, but actually they do not differ that much.Nisula's prefered style seem to be a rich and emphatic Progressive Rock with a groovy style and a tendency towards instrumental solos, based on his nice guitar work and its heavy keyboard armour, including all kind of analog equipment next to the more recent synth stylings.His music reminds a lot of THE MINSTREL'S GHOST or acts such as CRYPTIC VISION and PRESTO BALLET.Nisula uses his analog keyboards quite clever to come up with a clear, contemporary sound, and his compositions include influences from Classic Prog, Neo Prog and more modern and heavier Progressive Rock.His guitar work is great at moments with big time solos and powerful grooves, but his keyboard parts are also quite satisfying.Strong Mellotron openings, groovy organ runs, funky clavinet rhythms and lots, lots of soaring synthesizers.The result is a very good instrumental Prog album with rich and demanding soundscapes and efficient performances.

Very good debut by Nisula's Time Traveller.Enjoyable, adventurous and pleasant all the way, despite the feeling you have that you have already listened to this style many times in the past.Recommended.

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 Chapters III & IV by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 11 ratings

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Chapters III & IV
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Chapters III & IV' - Time Traveller (6/10)

The "Time Traveller" is a very fitting name for this one-man project. Juhani Nisula is a relatively new contributor to space rock, but his sounds and influences span the past 50 years. Running from classic rock and roll to raga music, psychedelia, jazz and modern rock, Time Traveller takes these sounds and meshes them into one experience; a jam-like journey that will have lovers of the classic psych rock reeling in delight. Nisula's instrumentation is strong, and the upbeat nature of his second album 'Chapters III & IV' is charming. All the same, the looseness of the compositions can often see the music float into the background.

Time Traveller reminded me of psychedelic kings Ozric Tentacles more than a few times on the record, but Time Traveller are a little more reserved hen it comes to adventure and spaciess. Although there is a wide array of sounds that Juhani is using for this project, it comes together in a fairly cohesive way. Listeners won't blink twice when they hear uplifting sitars play within minutes of a blistering sax solo. To this end, 'Chapters III & IV' is an interesting album. The music never gets slowed down, and although the composition style is kept fairly loose and jam-oriented, the energy is kept upbeat and consistent. Juhani is evidently a strong multi-instrumentalist, although his true talent lies with the guitar. His guest musicians are also quite impressive, with particular regards to Peter Kivimaki's tenor sax work on 'Code 6360 025".

Although some will rush to its defence and say that it is a tenant of the 'space rock' style, 'Chapters III & IV' is a little too aimless for its own good. The musicianship is admirable and professionally executed, but not once in the album did a particular melody or idea leap out at me, at least in regards to the songwriting. Instead of the musicianship being there to boost the writing, the songs seem only there as a vessel with which Juhani Nisula and company can strut their stuff. I'm not sure what they could have done to make it a more memorable experience, but adding a greater dynamic to 'Chapters III & IV' would not have hurt. Take Ozric Tentacles' 'Jurassic Shift', for example. It was a loosely flowing record, yet it managed to stay captivating throughout. That's not to say that Time Traveller does not grab my attention, yet despite the impressive sense of ambition Nisula has invested into this music, there were efw moments I was caught off guard.

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 Chapters III & IV by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 11 ratings

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Chapters III & IV
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Juhani Nisula continues the journey he started in Chapters I & II: exciting and highly energetic space rock with prominent solo guitar work.

I find this release to be a step up from the first album. I feel as though he's honed in on his own sound here, his own style and brand of heavy space rock. His guitar playing is as exciting as before and the additional instruments here, such as the saxophone only help to enrich the sound palate and strengthen the melodies.

On this release, you will find at Juhani's side drummer Zeko Takamäki who played with him on his first release. In addition, he has enlisted the talents of Timo Ristila (keyboards), Petteri Hietamaki (sax, flute), Petri Kivimaki (sax), all of which play on one or more track.

In each chapter the music goes on uninterrupted or at the very least, flows smoothly from one track to the next, giving the feel of a wholesome lengthy composition with various chapters. From the get go, the music is in full force and upbeat. Reality Strikes and Code 6360025 are two of the most energetic pieces here, with much vigor and passion as to wake up the dead. There are varied flavours here; Juhani introduces some eastern folkloric elements into his space rock (Mind Wide Open). He introduces dynamics and variation in tempo, volume and intensity as he switches for example, from Code 6360025 to Space Harvest; the former a loud and powerful rock tune lead by solo electric guitar and tenor saxophone, the latter a laid back, slightly odd sounding, atmospheric piece. At the core of his music sits fun and old-fashioned guitar-lead rock, but it is embellished in a fresh and modern sound and well done arrangements and layering, including sound effects that add to the special sound of this album.

A fun album, one that can serve as a cool breeze on a hot summer day and spice up your mood. 3.5 stars

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 Chapters III & IV by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 11 ratings

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Chapters III & IV
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The second Time Traveller album emerges from same mysterious Mongolian sounds, to which the first record found its conclusion. These new chapters continue the earlier story with same familiar tonal language, but now venturing far deeper to the realms of vivid and aggressive sonic explorations, whereas the first album was dominated more patient philosophies. However if one is willing for positive roller coaster ride on musical spheres, Juhani Nisula's musical imagination and talent certainly offer an impressive ride.

First side of the LP strikes forth the Chapter III from this Ostrobothnian progressive rock epic. "Reality Strikes" directly with a guitar driven hard rock theme, and this song's accessible melodies are enriched with pleasant neurotic rhythm sequences, cosmic sounds and delightful multitude of arrangement details. Quite modern guitar and bass sounds are blended with an arsenal of classic vintage keyboard instruments. After pleasant lounging in the rocky plateau guarded by solacing trees and future's potential flickering in horizon, more threatening dangers are encountered as a solemn theme gives warning of closing "The Black Hole". This song builds tension in quite pompous manner, until abrupt reprisal of the entry theme marks the shift to "Inner Peace" sequence, maybe signing the transition past the fatalistic point of no return through event horizon. Instead of morphing to spaghetti, luckily the consciousness is expanded with warm and hippie-oriented tones. Mellow Mellotron clavinet whispers work as an aperitif for a broad selection of melodic digesting pleasures, spiced with Petteri Hietamäki's tenor saxophone. Later these meditations lead to more severe psychic catharsis of "Mind Wild Open". I admit I personally do not like very much the "musical volcano erupts" which are often found in rock music coda's breaking the conventional pop structures, but this moment does not ruin the record either. This deconstruction of psyche is healed with acoustic-leaned Kingston Wall styled dharma moment, and the song is wrapped inside the "Inner Peace" composition, which ties together the musical flow growing to quite cacophonic levels at some point. From its theme is build quite groovy and pleasant jam, which is faded out, signaling the vinyl side's ending. Second side of the LP covering Chaper IV opens with keyboard and guitar dialogue. The tune is driven to the core of "Code 6360025", as saxophone joins the melodic solo lines attacking the pulsing groove basis of the song, radiating rapid signals of enjoyment. "Space Harvest" reminds then 1980's Hawkwind's ambient travels trough cosmic corridors, giving some pleasant space for breathing after the more intense rush of details. Suddenly the unwary listener is pushed to the chaotic waters of "Katós", being possibly the most eccentric composition in this musical storm. The deranged flight in warped themes is interesting, and there are some catchy theme rising as concrete forms from the messy sea of details. I admit the union of these conflicting elements create an interesting composition with extreme contrasts merged, but I'm uncertain if this still is the most pleasant part of this musical journey. The final track "The Last Wave" finds time to expand the flow past eight minutes, and relaxed song with fine guitar melody and solo sequences is really fine, strengthened in some moments with more neurotic harmonic details. The surges of huge tidal waves end the album, and they seem as a promise that later more chapters would emerge from their embrace.

I heard some comments that people knowing both the two currently existing Time Traveller records liked the first one better. I only agree that they are different from the perspective of content's intensity and tendency of musical exploration. If the music is sincere, and the listener is ready to meet the musician as persons they are, I believe a channel of communication may born. Somehow from my own part I have been lost to this concept, instead of demanding circus acts produced with details matching my own personal fetishes. Maybe the neurotically twisting aural journey could resemble a child in play, adventuring in freedom with a hunger for new experiences, suffering impatience of seeing all the interesting new things without delay. However the album as a complete record is finished with thought, and after several times of listening for few months I feel it works most best as record guiding to the realms of its creator, not so much as a record for relaxing or catching with easy tunes. The neat gatefold covers resemble this time the sharper style of Hipgnosis, and the human feeling I personally saw in it strengthened my described spiritual experience of the album. The recorded sounds are preserved with quite modern objectives, giving detailed presentation of older vintage synthesizers, but also boosting the heavenly weeping hard rock guitar tones with authentic 1980's and 1990's sounds. The record is also available on CD, but I recommend the fine vinyl artifact for anybody interested of guitar and vintage keyboards driven energetic progressive rock; This music should fit globally to anybody's prog LP turntable, as the weird Scandinavian language is not present on the completely instrumental album.

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 Chapters III & IV by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 11 ratings

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Chapters III & IV
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars An interesting band/project from Suomi-Finland.

Listed as a heavy prog band, Time Traveller does exactly what the band name says; travel in time. A long journey back in time. Well, in the history of rock, at least. Although some references to Sibelius and Bach is visible, we constrain ourselves to 1965 - 2011.

Their platform is heavy prog, but the music is so much more varied than that. It is taking in bands like Rolling Stones, Agitation Free, Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Free and Rush. I am sure I have missed out on many other bands too. But in short, the music is somewhere between heavy prog, rock'n'roll, blues, space rock, proto prog and krautrock. There are some wonderful use of Hammond organs, electric guitars, bass and drums here. That gives the music a sound taking us back to the 1970s. If someone told me this album was released in 1975, I would had believed them. Gladly !

The sound is great and the band does a superb job. The lack of some great songs are a big loss though and my major gripe with this album. But I have to admit this album is growing on me like hair is growing on my head. I love the eerie Hammond sound on this album. There is no doubts this band has tonnes of both potential and quality. So overall, this is a very good album and it is inbetween between three and four points. I guess I need to get their debut album too after been listening to this album for some days. I enjoy all this time travelling.

3.75 stars

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 Chapters III & IV by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 11 ratings

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Chapters III & IV
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars Due to my quotation of 4 stars for his first album 'Chapters I & II" of 2008 , I admit that I was a little disappointed when hearing this second album "Chapters III & IV", because in spite of almost bringing all of the musical influences that I mentioned in my review about the first albun (heavy and space prog) with the exception of the symphonic-prog, I believe that the so many invited musicians resulted in a loss of quality and even 'musical identity" for the band. The music not present the same energy and appeal of the previous disk and his sound started to have a little larger approach with the space-prog, different from the first that are much more close of heavy-prog. Howeve,r I still get to detach 2 tracks of the disk; track 2 "Reality Strikes" and the track 7 "Code 6360025" where due to outstanding presence of the sax, the result is a type of Heavy-Prog with jazz and funk "brushstrokes" . My rate is 3 stars!!!!

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 Chapters I & II by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.42 | 12 ratings

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Chapters I & II
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars Excellent instrumental albúm coming from Finland, bringing a mixture of several styles in that more they stand out Heavy-Prog, Symphonic-Prog and Space-Prog. The disk in itself is easily "digestible" and capable of pleasing even in a single audition. This mixture can be found inside of a single track as it happens in the track 4 " Part Two: The Traveller ", or in a separate way as in the track 2 "Part One: The Pioneers" a superb Space-Prog that reminded me plenty the band OZRIC TENTACLES, or still as it happens in the track 5 " Part Three: Floating" a ballad full of emotion to FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH'S style,. besides dispersed for the disk you will hear echoes of bands as URIAH HEEP, JEFF BECK, JAN HAMMER and many other. My rate is 4 stars

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 Chapters I & II by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.42 | 12 ratings

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Chapters I & II
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The really beautiful album cover art with interesting winter day's light aroused my curiosity to this record, which I knew nothing about. It contains music arranged to two long sets from Finnish Juhani Nisula, who has played the guitars, bass and keyboards on the record and written the stuff in it. It's actually recorded in my neighbor town.

After listening the music I have to admit that Juhani appears to be really talented musician, providing ace guitar playing and comprehensive pallette of vintage keyboard sounds to his compositions. Album has fine clear sounds (no fuzzy underground analog stuff here), and here are nice ambiences and effects are arranged between the main parts containing much to listen. "Part One" starts with nice rhythm which sounds first quite easy but isn't it after all. An exitement arose in me quite quickly; So very, very, very well played... These people playing here have not been tripping in the record studio with chemicals, but really focused to this thing. The music is also quite alive though most instruments are played by one person in studio. It sounds alive, containing much impulsive playing. Keyboard flavored and positive mild heavy rock sound with unconventional rhythms fit's quite well to the description Rush, which whole career sound could be an influence to this music, though there isn't similar pauses in rhythms and so much arranged elements than in the music of the group compared (neither is any melody or riff totally similar to theirs). Also little less psychedelic incarnation of Kingston Wall could be an association. First Chapter ends to more mellower and slower part for guitar solo runs, sounding like studies of themes of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from The Sun" licks. Second Chapter starts running headlong towards the paths familiar of style from eralier songs, "long waited" Mellotrons are presented, and also many wonderful composed melodies among the more impulsive sounding details. The music changes to quiet lingering medley, starting to grow tension which is released nicely like the song name suggests, featuring some traditional folk sounds with violin as a nice spice in the soup. In the end music suddenly changes to a Mongolian monastery soundscape, ending the trip maybe little weirdly but not to total disappointment.

So, I think this is a great instrumental record for all fellow travellers in time interested of art rock which roots are in classic 60's and 70's prog recordings, presented here with modern, clean sounds and excellent performance and composition abilities. If you like screaming electric guitars, vintage keyboard sound textures and carefully created progressive rock records, do not hesitate to try listen this record. The music is not too eccentric to drive listeners away, but not too conventional not to bring something interesting for listeining. Hopefully we hear more from Juhani Nisula trough this project or otherwise. Also as favourable bonus due Keltainen Jäänsärkijä record store, this album is available as neat gatefold cover vinyl!

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 Chapters I & II by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.42 | 12 ratings

BUY
Chapters I & II
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Juhani is a very talented Finnish man who plays a wide variety of instruments on this album. He does have a drummer on board but he does the rest including an array of synths as well as bass, percussion, melleotron, organ and guitar. Make no mistake though,this comes off as a guitar album.

"Launch" is just that,the sound of a rocket taking off. "The Pioneers" come in which sounds great especially when the guitar comes in playing over top. Some mellotron and lots of synths follow, although it's that steady beat with guitar helping out that dominates. Ripping guitar before 4 minutes. "Shifting" is a short spacey and atmospheric section. "The Traveller" is really more of the same as we get a beat with guitar doing it's thing. A calm though 2 minutes in. It turns uptempo before 3 1/2 minutes with the guitar lighting it up. Some wild affects before 5 minutes then back to the original melody. "Floating" is slower paced (hey we're floating here) with guitar and drums leading the way. We do get some organ later.

"The Chase" is as the title suggests faster paced and more dramatic. "The Great Escape" has a good full sound as we get some deep bass, mellotron, organ and of course guitar. "Deep End" opens with the rain coming down as we hear organ and light drums. We get an Indian instrument of some sort as well. This song is a refreshing change. One of my favs. "The Release" features lots of guitar and the organ runs are good as well. A steady beat comes in and then violin takes over. "Outro" ends it all with a gong.

For me this seemed to lack depth especially for being listed under Heavy-Prog, but there is no questioning this man's talent. Good album.

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 Chapters I & II by TIME TRAVELLER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.42 | 12 ratings

BUY
Chapters I & II
Time Traveller Heavy Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Juhani Nisula is a Finnish multi-instrumentalist who I've had the pleasure to discover through his Myspace and get to know his entertaining brand of instrumental prog rock. Time Traveller is his project where he writes and arranges all the music. This album called Chapters I & II is the first part in a series of release he envisions. It features multi-part compositions where the keyboards (of various kinds) alternate the lead role with the guitars (all played by juhani); the music flows on uninterrupted, moving from theme to theme, from one temperament to another with each track being distinct from the others by the melody and the instruments that dominate that specific composition. Divided into two chapters, the music is flowing steadily in each of these, advancing naturally from one track to the other, mostly very dynamic and powerful, sometimes blues-like sounding (in rhythm and guitar sound) and at others even a bit of hard-rock like; but mostly the variety, the vast scope and the complexity of this piece as a whole is very rewarding for the prog-rock fan. The variety comes to place as I listen to the music, travelling from heavier segments (track 2) to more peaceful and emotional parts (track 5), from more spacey surroundings (short part in the middle of track 4) to more lush and "symphonic-prog"-like dispositions (middle of track 2), from the more complex type of arrangement to more straightforward rock (middle and ending of track 4, track 5) - all of these are submerged in a rich and enveloping sound. Chapter I is generally less heavy than II (though not by too much) and has a more "old-prog" feel to it, whereas Chapter II is more propulsive (again, generally speaking) and finishes with in a very nice finale that made me wish it would last longer. The occasional use of sound effects adds a special touch to the overall feeling of this album. There are however some moments and melodies which were less appealing to me in their more straightforward approach, more "usual-sounding" guitar lead tunes, but those were not too frequent and I'm sure other listeners will love those. Chapters I & II are a fine instrumental and heavy progressive rock adventure. I'm looking forward to his next release.

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Thanks to Assaf Vestin for the artist addition.

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