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In Continuum - Acceleration Theory, Part One - AlienA CD (album) cover

ACCELERATION THEORY, PART ONE - ALIENA

In Continuum

 

Crossover Prog

3.56 | 25 ratings

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TCat
3 stars "In Continuum" is another project started by Dave Kerzner (originally from "Sound of Contact), who released their first full album called "Acceleration Theory" on January 1, 2019. The album is based around a sci-fi story of Kerzners about an alien that falls in love with a human and warns of on alien race that is coming to destroy the Earth. The band line-up consists of Kerzner, who is the band's keyboardist, lead vocalist and guitarist (acoustic) and main composer; Gabriel Agudo also lead vocalist; Matt Dorsay (also from "Sound of Contact") bass, guitar and vocals; Randy McStine on guitar and vocals; and Marco Minneman on drums. Along with this line up is the inclusion of several special guest musicians like John Wesley (Porcupine Tree) and Jon Davidson (Yes) on "Meant to Be", Steve Hackett (Genesis) on the track "Crash Landing", and Steve Rothery (Marillion) on the track "Be the Light". This is also the first part of the album, the second part will be made available later this year.

The album starts off with the title track "Acceleration Theory". This is an instrumental introduction lasting over 5 minutes with a spoken word section done by guest Leticia Wolf. There are also some guest strings added so the track is driven by the violin, viola, cello, piano and other keyboards. The track is dramatic as it introduces the story and there are also vocal field recordings. Slow drums start off at 3 minutes and the guitar also joins in.

"Crash Landing" features Steve Hackett who opens with a nice guitar intro and this slides into a quick keyboard bass reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Kerzner begins to sing, his vocals are a bit similar to David Gilmour in his lower register, but are more unique in his higher registers. The song structure is standard rock. Towards the end, Hackett plays again with the strings. "I Remember" tells the backstory of the alien and human meeting and of their love. It is more lyric driven and sung by Agudo. It is an emotional song and midtempo ballad style, but it is also standard.

"Two Moons Setting with the Sun" features dual vocals from Agudo and guest Leticia Wolf who mostly does harmony and some atmospherics. The song features a more complex rhythm pattern in the chorus giving things a more progressive sound but the meter is still a standard. The instrumental break is great with a second set of drums played by guest Nick D'Virgilio. The track finishes with a keyboard solo. Kerzner takes the vocals on "Scavangers" (with help from Jon Davison as background singer) which opens on an upbeat guitar solo. The verses and standard rock fare, the chorus is slightly more complex. The bridge slows things up some, but the main theme returns and ends on another sweeping guitar solo.

Steve Rothery guests on guitar on the next track "Be the Light". The song is more airy and expansive. Agudo sings main vocals with backing help from Wolf and Kerzner. Not a bad song, but it is pretty standard and accessible. It would work well as a single. "Hands of Time" is the longest track just over 11 minutes. Agudo and Kerzner are both on vocals and the string quartet is included on this one. There is an atmospheric beginning that quickly escalates into the most progressive section on the album so far with heavy guitars and keys. The heaviness gives in to a softer section and vocals finally begin with Kerzner. Things intensify and back off a few times while the vocals continue. Agudo takes the lead vocal later in the track as the lyrics take on the first person narration. This track is much more progressive as tempo changes and style changes several times. There are some nice solos here too.

"Racing Through the Past" is mostly an instrumental, but there are some vocal effects from Agudo and Wolf and some interesting guitar effects along with the string section. "AlienA" features Wolf singing the female alien character. "Meant to Be" features vocals by Jon Davidson singing over the theme from the track "I Remember".

"Man Unkind" is sung by Kerzner and is another Pink Floyd style track. The best feature of this track is the electric violin played by Joe Deninzon and the rousing solo he gets at the instrumental break. The string quartet joins in on this one too. "Banished" is the last track on Part One and features John Wesley on a baritone guitar. Deninzon also joins in on the electric violin again and the quartet does too.

The band has promised that Part Two will be available in the next few months. The story is represented well in the album with good characterization among the vocalists. The music is good, but leans on the side of progressive-lite, there are elements there, especially in "Hands of Time" and the rest of the album is well done, but as far as any thing standing out other than that, it is a good and smart album but with nothing groundbreaking and, in my opinion, not much in the way of complex and interesting sections that stand out. Yes its good and most people will enjoy it, however. And as far as the impressive list of guests are concerned, they are mostly underutilized except for maybe Deninzon's excellent solo in "Man Unkind".

TCat | 3/5 |

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