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Thoughts Factory

Progressive Metal

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Thoughts Factory Elements album cover
2.87 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mind Odyssey (5:33)
2. The Burden (5:20)
3. Frozen Planet (5:20)
4. Fire Away (3:57)
5. Night Fall (5:30)
6. The Shores of Sand and Time (5:53)
7. Dawn Part 1 (8:12)
8. Dawn Part 2 (3:04)
9. Our Kingdom (6:44)
10. Elements (4:27)

Total Time 54:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Sven Schornstein / keyboards
- Bernd Schönegge / bass
- Chris Maldener / drums
- Markus Wittmann / guitars
- Cornelius Wurth / vocals, guitars

Releases information

Cover: Pierre-Alain D.
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Format: CD, Digital
January 15, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THOUGHTS FACTORY Elements ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THOUGHTS FACTORY Elements reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Thoughts Factory is a progressive metal band that was formed in Germany in 2008 by keyboardist Sven Schornstein and vocalist Marcus Becker. Over the years to come, the band slowly assembled into a full progressive metal band. In 2012, they were ready to start recording their first album and by 2014, they were touring and supporting "Haken" in Germany and Austria. New vocalist Cornelius Wurth joined in 2016 bringing in a much wider range.

In January of 2020, the band was finally ready to release their sophomore album called "Elements" with the line up of Sven Schornstein on keys, Bernd Schonegge on bass, Chris Maldener on drums, Markus Wittman on guitars and Cornelius Wurth on vocals and guitars. Their new album is once again a concept story that follows a young man dealing with the emotional stages he goes through as he matures.

The music has firm roots in both metal and progressive rock, with heavy guitar riffs that have some tricky meters and better than average instrumental work, with a slight level of complexity that raises the music above the norm, but still manages to be accessible. The lead singer definitely does have a respectable range, but also has a heavy accent that is noticeable on some of the softer passages. This is noticeable right away on the first track "Mind Odyssey", which brings in the vocalist in a soft passage. But this soon intensifies as some very impressive metal riffs come in and puts the music into motion.

As you continue through the tracks, you will notice a nice balance between heavy guitar and keys and find that the music itself is quite impressive. The instrumental "Frozen Planet" especially sticks out as being a nice, dynamic track that travels through several different emotions, soft to loud and complex enough to keep progressive lovers happy. This is also quite apparent on "Dawn Pt. 1" which also shows off the emotional range of the lead singer and the amazing talent of guitarist Wittman. These are both impressive progressive metal tracks that prove that the band can be up there with the best of them. The problem is that most of the other tracks are great, but don't do anything to make the band push any boundaries or challenge the listener, it is pretty much what you come to expect from the many progressive metal bands that are out there. In other words, other than those few stellar tracks, the band just doesn't make itself stand out, though they definitely could if they could find a way to rise above the norm.

There are a few places where they add in little touches of symphonic styles and even venture into a neo-prog style, but they never really explore those inclinations. The band is obviously talented and they prove that from time to time. But when all is finished, nothing really stands out. Any of these tracks could be too similar to any of the other many progressive metal bands already out there. In such a competitive sub-genre, a band needs to do something that makes them different somehow. However, the album is enjoyable enough and those that love their prog heavy with guitar riffs and swashes of keyboards, then you will enjoy this album.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Here we have the second album from Thoughts Factory, a band formed some ten years ago by keyboard player Sven Schornstein (keyboards) and Marcus Becker (vocals). They were soon joined by Bernd Schönegge (bass), Chris Maldener (drums) and Markus Wittman (guitar), toured with Haken, and released their debut album in 2014. Since then they parted ways with Becker, which is probably why it has taken so long to come back with a follow-up, but he has now been replaced by Cornelius Wurth, and the band have signed with MRR (the debut was a self-release). I have not heard the debut, so cannot say how this stacks up against that, but in new singer Wurth they have a singer of considerable range, which is just what they need when they are producing music which is coming at the listener from a few different angles as here we have a prog metal band who truly know what they are doing in both genres.

Two bands which are obvious influences are Threshold and Stratovarius, while Angra are also important, and there is no doubt that although they are happy to slow it down and provide plenty of light and shade, it is when they are really ripping into the material they have the most to offer. What is also interesting is that Wurth is credited with a few guitar solos on the album, which does make me wonder if he will be used as a second guitarist, as well as a singer, when they perform on stage in which case they really will be hitting into the more metallic area. Like Threshold, Thoughts Factory are a metal band coming into prog, which means they are going to appeal to fans on both side of the arbitrary dividing line, albeit the progheads must not be averse to losing their dandruff.

There are times when piano is used under the guitars, and this additional provision of contrast is welcome in a band which are often very guitar and bass led. Keyboards often provide long held-down chords to provide that lightness, while Wurth has an edge to his voice which is very welcome indeed. Although I would have liked to have heard more fills and dynamics from the drums, overall, this is a very good album.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I genuinely feel bad giving this record only 2/5 stars. The musicians here are clearly very talented and seem to have put a lot of thought into this record. But at the end of the day, this record beats a dead horse by recycling the same symphonic power prog tropes we've grown accustomed to. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2339983) | Posted by ssmarcus | Tuesday, March 3, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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