Time Horizon is a Christian AOR progressive rock band based in Northern California USA. They are probably best known for their debut album Living Water (2011, see review) for which they raised funds for the Living Water International Ministry. Proceeds from the sales of this release funded the construction of fresh water wells in the Third World. At the time I wrote:” Personally, I have no problems at all with Christian lyrics as long as they're part of strong progressive rock tunes and this is certainly the case with Time Horizon. Hopefully the new line-up will record a strong follow-up album in the near future, since I would love to hear more of their music on a regular basis. Highly recommended!”. Well I had to wait four years before they came up with their follow up album Transitions (see review). At the time I wrote:” And like on their debut once again the listener is treated to a lot of amazing solos performed on the synthesizer and electric guitar. Also, once again there is a fine balance between up-tempo pieces and the more mellow sounding songs so no complaining at all here. Highly recommended to everybody who like Christian acts such as Neal Morse, Salem Hill, Iona, Glass Hammer and Supernal Endgame but also to those who are into the music made by bands such as Journey, Styx, Kansas, Spock's Beard, Toto and Boston”. So with two self-made albums since 2011, they don't come out of nowhere either. And now they have released their third effort Power Of Three. Possibly named after the band's three strong albums made so far. Or they allude to the three core members, or The Holy Trinity which might also be a reason to give the album this title.
Nowadays the band consists of David Bradley Mau (lead vocals, keys), Ralph Otteson (keyboards, backing vocals), Bruce Gaetke (drums, backing vocals), Allen Whit (electric and fretless bass), Dave Miller (electric guitar, acoustic guitars) and Michael Gregory (electric guitar, acoustic guitars).
The album starts off with Living For A Better Day, their first new single from their 3rd album. Right from the start you can hear that the band is very much inspired by the music of Saga. And if you have their legendary lead vocalist Michael Sadler on this track it would sound even more like this great Canadian progressive rock band. The song is a great catchy up tempo tune which sets the high standard right from the start. Does it get any better you may ask yourself. Yes it does!
On the follow up composition I Hear I See you can enjoy for the first time the lead vocals of the bands new lead singer David Bradley Mau and the accompanying backing vocals of Cherie Allum. His strong voice fits very well to this rather mellow piece of music. Here we hear for the first time also the message of the Lord on the strong lyrics. The instrumentation on the guitars and synthesizers colours the song perfectly. It's the only composition on the entire album which wasn't written by the band themselves. Nevertheless Otteson gave it a great musical arrangement.
Prelude is next and is the first fully instrumental composition on this album. Here you can hear another strong influence of the band. Namely Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Mainly because Ralph Otteson uses hear brass synthesizers and a Hammond organ in an excellent way. It is directly followed by the ballad The Razor's Edge. This time around it is drummer Bruce Gaetke behind the microphone. Musical fragments of Prelude (brass synthesizers and a Hammond organ) are included as well and therefore the sound of ELP comes to the surface one more time.
The second instrumental piece is next. Steve's Song is a tribute to the band's first bass player Steve Gourley, who left to work in Cambodia. It has beautiful fretless bass parts played by Michael Manring and is accompanied perfectly by Otteson on the keyboards. Listening to this strong mellow compositions is a fine way of contemplating life in general. Forget all you sorrows and just relax for a moment!
A beautiful ballad is next and has the title Time To Wonder Why with very subtle synthesizer parts. Back to ELP on the next piece of music. But this time around it is not Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But instead Emerson, Lake & Powel. The Great Divide is another great up tempo tune with fantastic sounds provided on the synths and organ. From time to time it is very reminiscent of Emerson, Lake & Powel's Touch And Go. This way too short album, only 44 minutes, ends with the rather mellow Digital Us. Another great composition to end this excellent album in a fantastic way! You can enjoy again great musical parts performed on the keyboards and guitars.
The careful cover art is done by Ed Unitsky and the internal booklet rounds off an excellent and recommendable album for all those lovers of progressive rock full of good keyboards, rock bases and vocal arrangements that stick to you at first hearing. The songs are catchy and grow again with each further run.
Overall, progressive rock fans should definitely feel comfortable with Time Horizon 's third work, without having to spend the whole time listening to what has already been heard a hundred times.
Conclusion: Power Of Three turned out to be a very good album if you like progressive rock in the tradition of most of all Northern American bands such as Saga, Styx, Kansas, Neal Morse, Salem Hill, and Glass Hammer. And of course those who like ELP as well. Even though the year 2022 has only just begun it is easy to say that the Power Of Three album belongs already to the first musical highlights so far. Highly recommended!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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