Back in 2011 I introduced our readers to the Christian progressive rock band Time Horizon. I enjoyed their debut Living Water (see review) a lot and was really curious what the future had in store for them. Because after this excellent release the band experienced some line-up changes with only founding members Ralph Otteson (keyboards) and Bruce Gaetke (drums) still on board. Four years later they managed to come up with a follow up album which got the appropriate title Transitions.
The title Transitions was given to the album because the band, as mentioned above, had gone through some personal changes during the writing and recording process. You could certainly imagine it a difficult feat when they tried to realise a successor for their debut Living Water. Along the way people came and left but you could say most tracks were recorded with the earlier mentioned Ralph Otteson and Bruce Gaetke with the assistance of Allen White (electric and upright basses) and Dave Miller (lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars). Strangely enough it seemed Gaetke is no longer a member of the band. Therefore it isn't so strange that on some tracks the drum duties were taken over by Lang Bliss. Furthermore a lot of guitar parts were done by ex Glass Hammer guitarist David Wallimann. Besides that some rather well known names in the progressive rock scene contributed as well. The most important of them is Billy Sherwood (Yes, Circa:, Yoso, World Trade) who co-produced the album and took care of the album mix. He can also be heard on lead guitar on the great World Trade cover The Moment Is Here. Another well known name is ex-Yes and current Circa: keyboard player Tony Kaye. He played the Hammond B3 organ on Prisoner. For the rather Kansas-like sounding composition Love Is Here they asked Jake Livgren, who had sung with his uncle Kerry Livgren in the band Proto Kaw, to do the lead vocals. However a lot of other lead vocals were done by guest singer Rich Reif.
You might expect, with the problems that occurred during the four years it took to complete the album and large list of guests, a very unstable album. But the opposite has taken place and you can hear an album which sounds very coherent. So I guess a big complement goes to those who are responsible for making this album sound so complete. The ten strong compositions are a great joy to listen to on Transitions. Music wise those ten tracks move into the same musical direction which could be heard on Living Water. This means influences of bands such as Journey, Styx, Kansas, Spock's Beard, Toto and Boston are notable. However this time around no songs that sound like Tangerine Dream. 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. Only those who don't like Christian lyrics in their music might reject this excellent band.
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.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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