This week we’ve got a band that is squarely in the progressive rock side of the metal spectrum. Time Grid is a relatively new band to the scene and is very much in the vein of modern, complex and elegant prog rock with a ton of jazz and classical chops and training from the musicians in the band. I’m reminded of those great and very sophisticate prog rock bands from the 90’s-00’s, Sweden’s Isildur’s Band and Hungary’s After Crying with the addition of a heavier guitar sound to incorporate the metal side of things. The band is comprised of musicians from Switzerland and France and is extremely sophisticated in the approach to their art. I’m extremely excited to see that bands like this exist and that not all progressive metal bands these days need to go for the ‘extreme’ side of the genre (as much as I do love that aspect of the music.)
The band is led by guitarist Steve Huber and features two singers, one male and one female and on their debut album Life, they use both singers very well, often in harmony but many times to play off of each other with elegant and extremely sophisticated phrases and melodies. The keyboards used are right out of the prog rock playbook with lots of piano and softer textures. I really love the dynamics that this band brings to their sound. The opener Decipt is a driving, complex melodic song that features all of the elements the band has in their arsenal – great vocal melodies, crunchy guitar lines and chords, tons of varied and very sophisticated fusion inspired keyboards as well as softer and very intricate melodic sections. Emptiness is a beautiful piece that features a great acoustic guitar and piano introduction before bringing in the heaviness and stretching the song into a 10-minute epic of fantastic melodic progressive music. I especially love the song Blind which has one of the most beautiful and compelling melodies I’ve heard in a long time and the interplay between the two singers is just incredible. Even though the music here is rarely heavy, it is very sophisticated and the final piece on the album Escape is a fantastic 10 minute epic that builds continually to a glorious finale.
It’s obvious that Time Grid has a tremendous love of the melodic, artier side of progressive rock. It’s also great to see a prog metal band that has a keyboardist that is such an integral part of their sound and not just for rapid-fire soloing. I know that a band like this will probably not appeal to fans of Meshuggah or possibly even Animals As Leaders but Life is a great intro to melodic progressive rock fans looking to add some harder-edged sounds to their musical palette. You can now check out Life via the Spotify playlist below.
Review by Jeff Stevens
If you want to stay in touch with our Spotify Friday series and other news in the world of progressive metal, please subscribe to our email list and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook (via the sidebar link) or follow us on Twitter (@Progmetalzone).