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Time Symmetry - Fate In Gray Review

by Dan Upton

I wish I could say more about this band from a biographical standpoint, but it appears they've decided to do their website and liner notes in Spanish, which is a little odd given that all of the songs are in English. For those that care, the band formed in 2002 in Madrid (so the Spanish thing isn't just to be esoteric), and Fate In Gray is their sophomore disc. And quite an enjoyable listen it is; I have to confess that I've postponed writing this review just to have an excuse to keep listening to it.

The best comparison for Time Symmetry musically would be Dream Theater, prior to Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Which is to say, in my opinion, probably the best part of Dream Theater's career to look to for inspiration. The disc begins with "The Game," slowly building a clean guitar and slow bass line into the crash of distorted guitars and melodic keyboard line. Transitioning from acoustic strumming for the first verse back to the distorted chorus, through some more distorted riffs as the verses go on, and into a heavy chugging section with a different time signature for the keyboard and guitar solos.

Guitarists Jorge Velasco and David Rubio, who also handles vocal duties, don't shred at a million miles per hour like Dream Theater's John Petrucci; on the other hand, they clearly know their way around the instrument and the solos are generally more interesting and better constructed than blistering wankery would afford. There aren't any direct comparisons for David's vocals; at times they are reminiscent of James LaBrie's, at other times maybe of Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius); in general they are in the middle range and very clean-toned, with just a little of the pseudo-operatic sound so common with this style of progressive metal.

As the CD progresses, the listener is treated to plenty of guitar/bass/keyboard unison riffs and creative drumming as the band shifts through tempos and time signatures. In addition to shifting times, shifts in dynamics are common across the CD, as songs like "Cold Morning Train" transition from the smooth harmonized guitar intro, to a quick soft/loud transition at the beginning of the verse, to the double-bass-heavy section at the end of the chorus. "Woman From Loneliness" starts with piano and Spanish guitar before moving into the more upbeat distorted guitars, but later calms back down to include a sax line not far from smooth jazz.

I could go on and on about how well written and interesting each of the songs are, but let's face it, you'd get tired of reading that eventually. So instead, let's just cut to the chase: Fate In Gray is one of the most interesting, best-composed CDs I've heard in a long time, full of songs that are both interesting musically and have catchy vocal melodies that you may catch yourself unintentionally singing along to. The ballad "Autumn" in the middle of the disc is a little bit of a letdown, but rest of the disc is simply amazing for a band so unknown. If prog is your thing, go get this, now.

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Time Symmetry - Fate In Gray


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