Time Machine - _Act II: Galileo_
(Spell, 1995)
by: Brian Meloon (7 out of 10)
I'm a sucker for concept albums, and this one, loosely based on the life of Galileo Galilei, is no exception. It's also beautifully packaged and laid out. The album clocks in at approximately 50 minutes, and as you'd expect, there are a number of short interludes and sound effects, with only 7 of the 19 tracks being of any reasonable length. Musically, this is progressive metal, comparable to Savatage, but not as cheesy as their new stuff. At times, they remind me of a number of bands, including Voivod (_Nothingface_ era), Saga, and of course Dream Theater. However, they avoid the "kitchen sink" mentality of many prog metal bands. This album is surprisingly cohesive, but they don't really have their own identifiable style. The playing is a little rough, and the album as a whole has an amateurish/indie sound, but most of the songs are good (or at least passable), with the exceptions of "Dungeons of the Vatican", which is a great instrumental, and "Prisoner of Dreams", which has two horrific sax solos, reminding me of the romantic sex-scene music you'd hear in a bad movie late at night on Cinemax. One thing that I love about this release is that virtually all of the songs are through-composed, which means you won't get bored too easily listening to it, and they also make use of repeated motifs throughout the album. Both of these characteristics really help the album in my opinion. This will be a little hard to find, but it's worth it for prog metal fans.

(article published 9/2/1996)

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