TIME MACHINE - Reviviscence (Liber Secundus)

Time Machine - Reviviscence (Liber Secundus)

12 songs
52:18 minutes


It's weird how Italy comes across like a true breeding ground for schmaltzy balladry, but once you take a deeper look, you'll notice how big their underground progressive movement has been since the beginning of rock music. Not only did bands like Van der Graaf Generator sell a lot of albums there, but they also came up with a lot of cool prog bands (Le Orme, PMF, Area,...). From the Nineties on, the suffix metal was added to prog, and the undisputed pioneers have been Time Machine who released their debut already in 1993. Reviviscence is already their tenth release, proving that they didn't only want to initiate the new wave of Italian prog metal, but also be there when it happened. And that's where the problem starts: while Time Machine should get all the respect for having been there since the earliest beginnings, there have been in the meantime a lot of bands being just as good or even better (Rhapsody, Eldritch).

Reviviscence is by no means a bad album, but it never really lives up to its expectations. As the second part (Liber Secundus being the sub-title of the album) of a planned trilogy, this is a very ambitious work, coming full-fledged with an intro, short but meaningless instrumentals and a myriad of instruments that act more like a gimmick than a genuine part of the song-writing. The vocals are also too obvious, making it hard to hear a difference from other likewise bands. In fact Time Machine are at their best when they are acting out during the two longer instrumentals, with Alhambra still being rather short but beautifully played on Spanish acoustic guitar, and The Calling coming as a late-Eighties guitar hero song that wouldn't have been out of place on a Chastain album.

To be fair, Time Machine try to break out of too conventional structures, but most of the time they stay trapped in technically well done, but ultimately uninteresting epic melodic prog power metal. Ten years ago, when they were starting as a band, this was still rather inspiring, but nowadays there seems to be no end of similar bands.

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