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Hourglass - The Journey Into CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.28 | 25 ratings

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4 stars When I see an album that contains three songs songs greater than ten minutes, two of them being suites, I become excited. The chance to embark of a musical adventure is one that should be taken without forethought. Therefore, here we are: Hourglass' second album The Journey Into, a beast of an LP that's 75 minutes long and ends with an almost twenty-seven minute epic. Now that's prog.

Released in 2002, it should come as no surprise that this is album is representative of the I&W-era Dream Theater school of music. With that said, Hourglass certainly brings their own with strong vocals, tight yet lengthy songs, salient bass, and memorable melodies. And while being categorically metal, Hourglass places more emphasis on more contemplative, lighter passages over heavy riff attacks such that lengthy tracks build up to something with some decent variation. Of course, this is still progressive metal, and there's some delicious metallic goodness--the opener "Pawn" is a good example--check out that bass!

As mentioned in the beginning paragraph, there's some long songs on this album, and they're pretty good. "Vantage Point" is the first to feature the softer side Hourglass, and has a good instrumental introduction; the song is centered around its elevating chorus and vocals. The first and shorter of the two suites on this album is "Plains of Remembrance"; this guy begins with another fine instrumental before giving away to the calm--gotta love that acoustic guitar! But that too moves into the next movement where the heaviness begins, building upon what was before it only to bow its head to beauty. "The Circle Breaks" is a ballad; powered by acoustic guitars; it's nice. "Not My Time" is the other primarily metal track on the album besides "Pawn". It's okay. The song to conclude this album is a beast, the eponymous "The Journey Into". Like the other long tracks, it begins with a strong instrumental that transitions to a softer passage, but since this epic is almost twenty-seven minutes long, there's a lot of room to play, and they do it well while also giving time to some fantastic melodies. This band is good at balancing rocking out with ensuring their songs don't degrade into ostensible jam sessions.

I learned about this band from perusing PA's alphabetical lists of bands, and what I discovered is very solid progressive metal that emphasizes building up their lengthy songs with strong musicianship without succumbing to ostensibly boring passages of fluff. Not only that, but they also don't bury the bass. I look forward to listening to their other albums.

Revision: Fixed and clarified some stuff

Revision: Rewrote most of the review

foregonillusions | 4/5 |


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