Timelight | Timelight
Release Year: 2016
Genre: Progressive Hard Rock
Chris Rudolf – Guitars/Vocals/Keyboards/Midi Pedals
Stevie Williams – Bass Guitar & Keyboards
Steve Lauer – Drums & Vocals
Ron Murvihill – Keyboards/Vocals & Flute.
Some bands require many years together to practice, rehearse and gel together before they even darken the doors of a recording studio. On top that they also need some significant time together playing live to find out what works and what needs improvement. Portland Oregon’s own Timelight have certainly shattered all those beliefs. I am not saying that they do not get together and rehearse, practice or spend time forming their unique progressive hard rock sound.
Formed only in 2012, Timelight have certainly have come together with the cohesive vision of a band that has been around 20 to 25 years. Their 2016 self titled debut Timelight Timelight certainly confirms all that. From the very first spin of their independent debut I have been hooked with bewilderment and awe of how tight the band’s sound is for being together for such a short four year period of time. These four guys are either musical veterans or just four men with one solid cohesive vision on what a progressive hard rock band should sound like.
I have heard many independent self financed debuts from many bands over the years and Timelight’s self titled debut is certainly one of the more professional and cleaner sounding albums I have heard in that fashion. To be brutally honest I believe this debut album is well worth any progressive rock label to give this band a chance with a record deal. Timelight’s self titled debut may only have five songs however as in the prog rock spirit the album gives you almost a full hour of beautiful progressive hard rock. Now a breakdown and some highlights from each track from Timelight’s self titled debut.
The Law Of Identity begins a straight away charging high powered rhythmic passage of drums/bass and rhythm guitar. It borders between a progressive hard rock to a progressive metal passage. Soon the keyboards come in and give the track a slight melodic accent. When the vocal finally enters in, it does not overwhelm the listener it rather allows some breathing space for the listener to get into both halves of the band, instrumentally and harmonically.
At the 3:30 mark the track takes a small break where the band feature a more choral side with the vocal harmonies. The rhythm section remains insane and a vital and important focal point throughout the track. The keyboards bring in melodic accent at some key appropriate times. At the 6:28 mark the track takes on a beautiful acoustic guitar lead atmosphere. The vocals remain warm and inviting throughout the track. At times the bass work reminds me very much of early Yes’ Chris Squire. Towards the 10:00 mark the band finally opens up more and allows a more heavier yet atmospheric sound to come forth. The band soon displays the hallmarks and time signatures that make this a progressive rock album.
Genomes the shortest song on the album, begins with a beautiful rolling rhythm section that is followed by great vocal harmonies. You can notice the tight progressions and passages that the band are capable of executing. The way the tracking on the guitars is gives the listener the appearance that they are speaking at one another. The keyboards have a more neo progressive atmosphere to compliment the rhythm sections. The band also really focuses greatly on song structure on Genomes .
Mountain Trilogy starts out with a beautiful piano melody that is soon accompanied by the drums. The vocals and harmonies soon enter in with warmth again. The band clearly are about giving the listener enough without totally overwhelming them to lose their attention. The piano is definitely the background and melodic focus on this track allowing the listener to remain within in the album with anticipation. Mountain Trilogy is a very traditionally progressive minded track that will appeal to progressive purists meanwhile introducing a outsider to true traditional progressive rock.
Normalcy Blindness opens up with a lush layered acoustic guitar passage. The vocals soon wrap around and embrace the acoustical passage lyrically. The background harmony soon appears. The unsung hero anchoring the intro here is the flute. The flute adds great depth to the intro before the track takes a RUSH Hemispheres style straight away rock direction. This track seems like two songs gently and subtly crafted into one symphonic piece. It shares a mellow side as well as a harder edge side however the band does not take the listener off into a tangent where they lose their attention. This is the second epic on the album clocking in at 14:44. The solo’s have a very traditional 1970’s style with the modern progressive sensibilities of 2016. This track blends the generations of progressive rock together very well.
Tell Us What You Love begins with a thick rich rhythm section layer. The bass carrying the intro before the keyboards, drums and guitar come in harmony with the vocal. The instrumental is a really compliment to the lyrical portion allowing for the story to be told. The guitar solo’s give this a depth in the atmospheric quality allowing the listener to digest the entire album as a collective.
For a independent band, Timelight have certainly built a solid foundation towards future work in a career. I believe with the right promotion Timelight’s self titled debut here will find its audience whether a vast audience or a niche. For a band who self financed this and released it independently they did a great work here. This album will be a heavy contender for my New Independent Release of 2016. This album gets 5/5 for its cohesiveness and vision.
by Robert Brady