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Time's Forgotten - Shelter CD (album) cover

SHELTER

Time's Forgotten

 

Progressive Metal

3.98 | 4 ratings

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nick_h_nz
4 stars [Originally published as a mini-review at The Progressive Aspect]

Time's Forgotten is a band from Costa Rica formed in 2004, but who went on extended hiatus in 2015. They're back now, with a change in sound and vocalist - or so I have made out from their promotional material. Shelter may be their fourth album, but it's the first I've ever heard. I may still not have heard of them had they not been recommended to me after my review of Involute's debut as a similar band that I might enjoy. I can hear why the band were recommended to me, but there are probably as many differences as there are similarities, the biggest of which is that, although both bands have female singers, Priscilla Ruiz has a far more traditional prog metal vocal style. But enough of Involute - Shelter quite simply rocks!

I'm not done with Ruiz, though - for she really is the star attraction here. I'm not sure I even want to investigate the band's previous releases because so much of the atmosphere and energy of Shelter comes from the versatility of Ruiz's vocals. She can be an absolute powerhouse, coming on like an unstoppable tempest, and she can provide gentler tones for the more ballad styled songs. But this is a generally heavier prog metal beast that allows Ruiz to show her range and power as she rips and roars her way through her lines. Her voice soars over the instruments often, somewhere out there in the stratosphere, but that's not to say the rest of the backing are lacking, providing a solid wall of sound that's thoroughly enjoyable. And it's not standard fare, either. Sure, there are plenty of prog metal hooks and riffs, but there's some wonderfully melodic passages and others that are nice and jazzy.

There is surprisingly little keyboard high in the mix for this style of prog metal, but when it does rise above the rest and make its presence more known, Juan Pablo Calvo's playing really shines. Given that often the keys are my least favourite instrument in most prog metal bands, it is even more surprising that they are probably my favourite instrument on Shelter. They add a great deal to the sound, even when they are not prominent. The rhythm section of Jorge Sobrado (drums) and Gonzalo Trejos (bass) provide a solid groove that's quite irresistible, and Ari Lotringer plays a mean guitar, with some wicked solos. I don't know how many of these musicians are from the original incarnation of the band, but they are definitely a band I want to hear more from. If Shelter is a fresh start for Time's Forgotten, I'm with them from here on.

nick_h_nz | 4/5 |

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