[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
Time & Tide (USA) - 2004 - "The Water's Edge"
TRACK LIST: 1. Wasteland 13:04 2. Time Away 3:55 3. All 5:53 4. Media 6:31 5. Gemini 4:53 6. Fortress 4:56 Pilot: 7. Dream of the Pilot 8:33 8. Siren Song 3:28 9. Guidance 3:04 10. No Stars to Guide 3:57 11. Wind & Current 6:26 12. Legends of the Sea 1:27 13. I Am the Pilot 4:23 All tracks: by Time & Tide. Engineered by Bedard. Produced by Time & Tide. LINE-UP: Scott Bedard - guitars; lead vocals Sean Blair - bass; backing vocals Stephen Glowacki - drums; backing vocals Steve O'Donnell - keyboards
Prolusion. "The Water's Edge" is the debut album by Boston's quartet TIME AND TIDE. However, in the middle of the '90s these very guys released three EPs and one full-length CD under the name of Season's End. So they aren't novices in their progressive adventure.
Analysis. There is somewhat of a minor phenomenon in Progressive Rock, which has existed since the formation of the genre. Regardless of whether it's highly intricate or not that much, the music, accentuated by strong guitar or bass riffs, is more attractive and, therefore, is more quickly comprehensible for many listeners, especially for the beginners, than that which is free of such. Having gambled on the sound, which is most often symphonic and heavy at once, this band killed two birds with one stone. "The Water's Edge" possesses a magnetic power and abounds in virtual virtues, too, among which the absence of any derivative features is especially valuable. The compositional and structural integrity of the music is also of help in this respect. Twelve out of the thirteen songs on this 70-minute album (no instrumentals here) are representatives of the same style, which one may regard as a heavy Symphonic Progressive, while I see it as a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and Cathedral Metal with the slight prevalence of the former genre on precisely half of them. For the most part, Wasteland, All, Dream of the Pilot, Guidance, No Stars to Guide and Wind & Current differ from Time Away, Media, Gemini, Fortress, Siren Song and I Am the Pilot only by the predomination of guitar riffs over those of bass, and vice versa with regard to the latter six songs. Bassist Sean Blair and guitarist Scott Bedard alternate with each other to play basic themes, otherwise doing solos, while Steve O'Donnell's passages on piano and synthesizer cross the sonic landscapes nearly off the reel. Scott is also a remarkable vocalist with crystal-clear high voice, whose way of singing is both original and tasty, just as the band's music. Though I must admit I find Sean's musicianship more convincing than Scott's playing on electric guitar. But then, he is really confident when playing acoustic guitar, and its parts are notably significant in the arrangements on about a half of the tracks. By the way, the remaining song, the short, yet, excellent Legends of the Sea, contains only passages of classical guitar and vocals. When the band goes heavy, their music reminds me a bit of Threshold in the mid-nineties, though I clearly understand that this occurs exclusively on the associative level, and Time & Tide can't be compared to someone else any other way but conventionally. As mentioned, originality is one of the principal trumps the band have up their sleeve.
Conclusion. "The Water's Edge" finds the band in a good form as composers. While of a moderate complexity, the music always remains interesting, with enough turns and twists to keep the 'classic' listener's attention. However, the band's performance isn't always as tight as I had expected from a ten-year standing band and lacks maturity. (Well, that will come with time.) So in all, this is an excellent album, but not a classic.
VM: November 11, 2004
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]