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Cairo Time Of Legends album cover
3.54 | 96 ratings | 13 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Undergound (8:07)
2. The Prophecy (10:18)
3. Scottish Highland (2:41)
4. You Are The One (5:46)
5. Cosmic Appoach (4:22)
6. Coming Home (7:11)
7. The Fuse (9:03)

Total Time: 49:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Bret Douglas / lead & backing (6) vocals
- Mark Robertson / keyboards
- Jeff Brockman / drums, keyboards (5)

- Luis Maldonado / guitar (1,2,4,6), backing vocals (6)
- Brian Hutchinson / guitar (1,2,4,6)
- John Evans / bass
- Patrick Joseph Maloney / backing vocals (6)

Releases information

CD Magna Carta ‎- MA-9044-2 (2001, US)
CD Roadrunner Arcade Music ‎- 8022202522RA (2001, Netherlands)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CAIRO Time Of Legends ratings distribution

(96 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

CAIRO Time Of Legends reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars A very good and complex album, plenty of fast keyboards and rythmic changes. Very intense, melodic, symphonic and truly progressive, I can hear notorious YES influences blended with the powerful Steve Walsh (KANSAS) vocal feeling, and sometimes bombastic music a la ELP. The longer track "The Prophecy" is the best to my taste, but all cuts keep the homogeneous quality. Intensity never decays, except at the beautiful short instrumental "Scottish Highland", that gives to the listener a relax moment. CAIRO goes on, at least in this effort, the line of majestic and underrated American 70's bands like PENTWATER or YEZDA URFA. Recommended.
Review by NJprogfan
4 stars If you are a fan of the band UK, you will LOVE this album. Some say they sound like YES, or KANSAS, but if you happen to have an album or two by UK, you'll hear the influences. Robertson's keyboards are definately of the Emerson school. His flourishes though sound like Jobson's, especialy on the song "The Prophecy", they're quick and have almost a Neo sound, but trust me they are NOT a Neo band. Bret Douglas's vocals almost mimic Wetton's; not copying mind you, but the melodies of UK vocally are similar, (check out the first track, "Underground" and not come away thinking UK). Harmonally, they are awesome! There are also some instrumental tracks. Of note is the last track, "The Fuse" a 9 minute bombastic, fast-paced ditty that ends the album on a high note. So, if you are a fan of UK and want to hear a rare band that uses them as a template for symphonic prog with a very, very slight touch of Neo, you couldn't do wrong with this album. BTW, I would love to know if they're still around since this is the last disc recorded. It would be a shame if they are not around anymore. They could honestly be at the top of the heap in the USA for this style, giving Glass Hammer a run for their money. :-)
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Whenever I listen to Cairo "Time of Legends", it reminds me to the music of ELP, taken it in simpler way. Simply said, Cairo "Time of Legends" music is ELP + simplification + ambient. Most of compositions this album offers is a bit of simpler arrangement of ELP music throughout all passages of the songs. It's okay then, nothing wrong with it. Take an example of opening track "Underground" - the first experience you would have with this track is the ambient music plus keyboard work similar with Keith Emerson in its simpler way. You might react with something entertaining if you are ELP fan and open to new bands music.

"The Prophecy" opens atmospherically through the sounds of keyboard - unlike typical ELP song which usually starts bombastically with organ / keyboard dynamic sounds. The piano part enters the song and brings the music in continuous form of symphonic style. The guitar work accentuates the music and gives good textures, combined with symphonic keyboard work. The music is floating naturally with simple keyboard solo. What surprise me is when the vocal enters, it reminds me to the music of Yes instead of ELP. But it's again okay for me. The vocal line is good.

"You Are The One" brings the music into more accessible style - I think that's because of pop and symphonic touches in this song that make it accessible. "Cosmic Approach" as the name implies it's really cosmic in style - like a space music with electronic drummin'. "Coming Home" is another composition of symphonic prog with melodic vocal line and nice keyboard work. The album concludes with long instrumental in the vein of ELP: "The Fuse".

Overall, this is a good symphonic prog album with keyboard-based compositions. It would favor ELP freaks and YES fans. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by progrules
4 stars I waited quite a while with this review because I had doubts about the rating for this album. And I have doubts between 3 and 4 stars. The debut was a clear 4 star effort for me and Conflicts and dreams is a masterpiece in my opinion but trouble with Time of Legends is it's the least effort of the three to me because a real highlight is not present on this album, a difference compared to the other two.

On the other hand I am a huge Cairo fan and feel I will sell them short by giving three. And this is not a poor effort at all, I just wanted to show that this is their least album of the three. Still more than 2/3 of this release is very much worthwhile and then I'm talking about the first two and the last two songs which make abudently clear that this is a fantastic band and I can certainly recommend this to fans of ELP who would like that band to play a bit faster. By the way, I also think Brett Douglas is a better vocalist than Greg Lake and Mark Robertson is definitely a match for Keith Emerson. So if you don't know this band yet these can be reasons to check them out.

In the meantime I made up my mind for the rating: I give it 4 (3,6).

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Time of legends is their third album from 2001 and aswell the final one of this truly great band. The music from here is a little bit lighter than on previous album, but again good. Same influences by ELP and even in places, specialy on first track Undergound I've noticed some Deep Purple influenceson interplys between keys and guitar. Their swansong album and again a good one in every way , but the magic of previous album is gone, no more leghty tracks , only 4 out of seven are above 8, the rest are, under 5, so this album I considered that is made in rush, to forced sometimes, and they had 3 years to make it. The pieces who worth mentioning are the opening track Underground, The Prophecy and the fuse, the rest are just ok. Well is was not the case on previous album Conflict and dreams, where every single piece was superb and with stunning musicianship. So another good album by Cairo , but not as good as the prior one. I don't think this is their best, even the higher rate of this album tells me contrary. So a big 3 stars, a fair note, less enjoyble than Conflict , but not bad at all.
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is the third release from this fantastic American symphonic prog band, but unfortunately it was also the last. And it's too bad, because the band was finally honing it's own voice in it's songwriting, getting away from the keyboard riffs that sounded like they were lifted from the classic ELP albums (not that this was a bad thing, they did it quite well).

The compositions here are more concise than on the previous albums, but a bit better written. Where on the first two disks by this band, the music seemed to get much simpler during the vocal sections, here, driven primarily by bassist John Evans' nice moving lines, the music stays complex during the verses.

Keyboarist extraordinaire Mark Robertson is still the center of the show. While he does still sound a lot like Emerson when he plays the Hammond organ, he plays much more on his synths, adding lush density to all of the tracks.

If you're out there Mark, keep recording. The world never has enough great prog keyboardists.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Last album to date from this US band. No news at all on their website on a potential follow-up, nor even any response to several messages from fans asking about their career. Lack of communication?

Songs are shorter here, more straight forward and of simple structure. Some of them are melodic like the opener "Underground" and the whole might sound well crafted; but it also lacks of variety and personality. "Yes" and "ELP" remain the major influences.

I also fully agree with Bogdan when he says that this album gives the impression of having been released in a rush, for the sake of it. The pastiche "Prophecy" is one of the best example. Pompous and insipid.

And it is not the folkish "Scottish Approach" or the transparent "You Are Not One" that are going to raise the level of this album; which is globally quite flat so far. Should I add that apart from featuring some solid drumming, "Cosmic Approach" has little to offer?

When I listen to the vocals from "Coming Home", I just say stop! Enough of this plagiarism ("Yes" in this case). This work totally lacks of inventiveness and it is just a collage of sounds from the past. To the bones.

If listening to a third tier ELP is your cup of tea, then (and only then) "The Fuse" is recommended. All in all, this album is not much worth IMHHO. Just cliché.

Two stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Cosmic approach?

Three years after the excellent Conflict And Dreams album, Cairo returned with Time Of Legends. While this third album of theirs is a bit more diverse and varied, it is also less powerful and less memorable. With Conflict And Dreams, Cairo gave me the impression that they were screaming in my ears "Listen to us!! We are over the top and really very talented and our music is super great!!". With Time Of Legends they seem to want to tell us something much more modest: "You can listen to us if you want, we are quite alright". The music is still good here and it is an enjoyable listen, but certainly some of the passion and fire of Conflict And Dreams is sadly lost.

By some people a bit less of the Emerson Lake & Palmer-inspired bombast is probably considered a good thing, but in this case I think something important has gone amiss. That bombast was a large part of what made Conflict And Dreams so great. On the present album, they even give us a couple of quite understated almost New-Age like instrumental passages (though, one of which suddenly bursts into an intense Toccata-like passage). The vocals are also less passionate somehow.

After the release of this album, Cairo would disappear without a trace leaving the fans without any information of their whereabouts. Time will tell if they will ever make a comeback.

Time Of Legends remains a pretty good and pleasant album, but slightly disappointing after the powerful Conflict And Dreams.

Review by patrickq
3 stars As I see it, Time of Legends has three phases. First is a pair of outstanding prog-rock "suites" - - "Undergound" and "The Prophecy." Next are three tracks which sound like sketches which might have worked as parts of suites. And finally, "Coming Home" and "The Fuse" are solid, though undistinguished, pieces.

The first two songs are standout neo-prog/symphonic pieces. "Underground" has been a personal favorite since this album was released in 2001, but "The Prophecy" has grown on me more recently. Many have remarked on Cairo's ELP and Yes influences, and they're certainly clear here.

The three middle tracks ("Scottish Highland," "You Are the One," and "Cosmic Approach") don't sound unfinished, but even taking into account their lengths, they lack the complexity of the other four pieces. Two are somewhat ambient instrumentals whose place I can't quite figure out: "Scottish," a new-agey piano / synth piece, and the impressionistic "Cosmic Appoach." "Scottish" might have worked as a brief interlude in a longer piece, but within the first half-minute, keyboardist Mark Roberstson has already made his point. "Cosmic," credited to drummer Jeff Brockman, could have been intro/outro music for a suite. In a very similar way, the vocal "You Are the One" is relatively one-dimensional. These three songs occupy about one-quarter of the runtime of Time of Legends.

Considerably more interesting are the last two songs on the album: the vocal "Coming Home" and the album-closing instrumental "The Fuse." The latter is a jazz-rock/fusion track and a bit of a showcase for Robertson (and to a lesser extent, guitarist Luis Maldonado). One thing I like about "Coming Home" is that vocals begin immediately, as they do on "Underground" and "You Are the One." Too many new-prog bands (or new-symphonic, in this case) try to emulate their heroes with long instrumental overtures. Not these guys. Anyway, neither "Coming Home" nor "The Fuse" approaches the quality of the first two tracks, but they're good nonetheless.

With two top-notch pieces, two good ones, and a handful of underdeveloped ideas, Time of Legends is a mixed bag. Overall, I rate it "good, but not essential:" three stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars In 2000, I found a promotional copy of this cd in a cut-out bin at the local record store, liked the name of the group and the cover art, and took a chance on this group that I had previously never heard of. For less than $5.00, I discovered a real prog gem! Cairo is an American band that feat ... (read more)

Report this review (#2441413) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Wednesday, August 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You can ask yourself, why is this band not well knowned or touring...and you just cant find the correct amazing that they still in the shadows after releasing the third album "Time of Legends" ...A Trio base band from the Great San Francisco Area returns with a more complete,com ... (read more)

Report this review (#88295) | Posted by Mickolay | Sunday, August 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Strong, As a solid rock, the songs here are powerful, this band passes a great dose of confidence in all they relaease! Strong performances, beautiful melodies, difficult and complex tempo changes and time signatures. Is Mark Robertson an Emerson´s clone? ... (read more)

Report this review (#1375) | Posted by fredfontes | Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As with the 2 first albums..this is GREAT...for all prog/symphonic freaks .... they just get better and better...beautiful !!! Like your music: Professional,beautiful,tight & highly symphonic??? Well here it is !!!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#1372) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Thursday, November 27, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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