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Solar Project (Germany) - 1997 - "In Time"
(67 min, "Musea")


*****

Tracklist:



1. Time-1 7:33

2. About Time 4:43

3. Crime Time 5:55

4. Time Out 7:12

5. Zeitgeist (i.e. The Spirit of the Time) 6:02

6. Time to Die 27:08 

7. Time-2 8:15



All music: written, arranged, & produced by: 

Rob Valet & Peter Terhoeven. All lyrics: by 

Valet, except: 6 - by Valet & A. Kiechle.



Line-up:



Rob Valet - keyboards; classical guitar

Peter Terhoeven - electric & acoustic guitars

Sonja Mischor - flutes; backing vocals

Volker Janacek - drums & percussion

Andi Bracht - fretless bass

Andi Lambiris - fretted bass 



Guest musicians:



Anja Kiechle - vocals (on tracks 3 & 6) & backing vocals

Stefan Mageney - vocals (on 1)

Olaf Kobbe - vocals (on 4)

Carsten Volz - vocals (on 5)

Holger Vom Bruch - vocals (on 6)

Martin Garden - vocals (on 7)

Jurgen Wimpelberg - organ; backing vocals (on 1)



Recorded, mixed, & digitally mastered: by Valet & Terhoeven at 

"Rhine" studio, Duisburg, Germany. Artworks: by Valet & Terhoeven.

		

Prologue. It seems that the albums, that Solar Project's discography consists of, were placed randomly in the booklet of their latest CD "Five". As far as I know, the band was formed in 1995 and, since then, they released five albums, the latest of which saw the light of day in the end of 2000. What's curious is that in the aforementioned discography of Solar Project, "In Time" stands as the next to last album by them. However, I doubt that the band had time to release four albums during the first three years of its existence. Especially since each of their albums lasts more than an hour. (To read the review of "Five", click >here.)

The Album. On the whole, the "In Time" album is much in the vein of "Five" (or vice versa), which shows that Solar Project adhere to the style that they've once chosen. Of course, it's hard not to find that Solar Project's stylistics isn't that original. The band is rather heavily influenced by the music of Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. However, they follow the creative 'testaments' of these bands by no means straightforward. Also, there are many of Rob Valet and Peter Terhoeven's own ideas in the music of Solar Project, thanks to which this relatively new German outfit sounds not that derivative and, overall, can be regarded as not an imitator, but a true follower of both of the aforementioned bands. There are no real pauses between the tracks of this album, as all of them are filled with effects, voices, etc. By the way, various effects (including reversed solos), female back vocals, and a mixed choir are heard here and there on most of the album's tracks. As for the main soloing instruments, these are electric and acoustic guitars, modern synthesizers, and the Hammond organ. The heavy riffs and fluid solos of electric guitar, fast and slow, soft and melodious, solos of keyboards and flute, 'classical' passages of acoustic guitar, the diverse work of rhythm section: these are the basic performing features of this album. Musically, "In Time" is almost as strong as "Five". The only serious drawback of this album is, in my view, a large number of guests, especially since all of them are singers. There is only one instrumental piece, About Time (2), on the album, while each of the six songs of it 'presents' different lead vocalists. In other words, the band used Alan Parsons' vocal 'formula' on this album, whereas musically, it is way better than any of that Project's albums (except for "Tales Of Mystery & Imagination"). Stylistically, "In Time" fully conforms to the Classic Space Rock album's status. Harsh, fluid, and symphonic structures are well balanced almost everywhere on the album. The only exception is Time Out (4). The instrumental arrangements that are featured on it are marked mostly with quiet interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and cello, and solos of organ. Surprisingly, Time Out turned out to be the album's most original and, at the same time, most monotonous piece. Quite the contrary, I guessed that the monstrously long Time to Die (6) should be the best composition on the album. Really, this 'dedication' to the final destination of everyone's life is by all means richer than any of the other categories of time that are present on this completely 'time-dependent' album. Tasteful, diverse, and very original interplay between solos of Sitar and some of one Eastern flute are just filled with magical emanations. In my view, these are the most wonderful episodes of this composition and the album as a whole as well.

Summary. Most of all, "In Time", as well as "Five" and, most likely, all the other Solar Project albums, should please whose who love Pink Floyd and those remarkable albums by Hawkwind that were released in the middle of the 1970s (from 1974 to 1976, to be precise). In other words, the creation of this German band can be recommended to most of the Classic Prog lovers in general. Only those who're into the theatrically dramatic kind of Symphonic Progressive, the best representatives of which are Genesis's albums, released between 1970 and 1976, may find "In Time" a disappointing rather than excellent album. (Note: Thierry Sportouche, the editor of "Acid Dragon" magazine, sent this CD especially for my review.)

VM. July 4, 2002


Related Links:

"Musea Records" web-site: http://www.musearecords.com/


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