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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Vox Tempus - 2004 In The Eye Of Time
Vox Tempus - 2004 In The Eye Of Time

Dan Reed - vocals
Ray Mantor - guitars
Jim Turba - bass
Eric Ragno - keyboards
Gregg Bissonette - drums

Vox Tempus were featured some months back in our artist spotlight section plugging a three song sampler of tracks from this, their first full length album. Though it has taken some time to appear, the hype for this album has been considerable, especially with the 'guest' appearance from Bissonette on drums, although whether it lives up to the billing is up to you - the listener. As mentioned in the review for the promo, Vox Tempus were once known as Equinox before splitting and changing their name with the core of Mantor and Turba, later joined by Reed and Ragno. The promo indicated an AOR/Prog direction with a smattering of metal thrown into the mix, which made a label and pigeon-holing into a genre virtually impossible. Now with the whole album now available, the matter is still unresolved. The triple pronged approach the only real description. Or as I put it previously, 'melodic progressive', a more suitable term I'd venture to say.

The Songs
As the promo review contained rundowns of 'For Every Life', 'Revelations' and 'What About', it seems pointless to retread them here, all three tracks commendable pieces of the prog rock/AOR genre. Of the new tracks 'Escape' features first, a similar escapade to the previous three, venturing into keyboard dominated prog rock with lush harmonies and some attacking riffs. It's followed by 'Broken', which tones the ferocity down in favour of pure AOR balladry, in a Journey like manner but not as accomplished. 'Foreshadows' immediately takes my fancy, a two minute synth instrumental with its roots planted firmly in the Vince DiCola camp, circa the 'Rocky IV' and 'Transformers' soundtracks.. 1985 revisited. It's not nearly long enough though! Another instrumental 'Voice Of Time' also toys with some incendiary 80's type keyboard work, punctuated by rapid soloing from Mantor, the interplay is complex and awash with vintage AOR like sensibilities. The track takes a savage metal twist towards the finale, which adds variety to the six minute running time. At thirteen minutes 'Love, Lies And Treason' could be seen as a risky undertaking, and indeed the interest level wanes, while the complex tangents weave intrinsically, the progressive element is on full-overload here. The fluffy AOR of 'Steal The Moment' never moves out of first gear, entirely piano based, melodic but not utilising enough passionate guitar fills to back up Reed's emotional vocal effort. The last two minutes are taken up by rainfall effects, an unusual departure given some other musical interlude could have been implemented instead.

In Summary
'In The Eye Of Time' is an accomplished debut for starters, though admittedly not ground breaking. This form of rock has been so heavily plundered over the years (like most genres) that it's almost impossible to give it a fresh face. To Vox Tempus' credit they understand 80's AOR structures to the minute detail, which gives this a nostalgic feel even if it isn't meant to evoke such imagery. With the bands ability to shift back and forth between heavy and soft they have lots of options at their disposal for future recordings. Given the time it took for this to appear, one might doubt if there is to be another album, but we live in hope. For now they can be content with a solid debut which should please fans of progressive rock as well as modern AOR.

Sponsor: Eric Ragno and Vox Tempus

Track Listing:
01 For Every Life
02 Escape
03 Broken
04 Foreshadows
05 Revelations
06 What About
07 Voice Of Time
08 Love, Lies And Treason
09 Steal The Moment

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