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Artist: Timeline
Label: Independent
10 Tracks/49.49

Timeline are an incredibly talented new voice in progressive music.

The band harnesses many styles in their self-titled debut album, incorporating progressive music, glam, and power metal into their unique atmosphere. Among their varied influences, especially apparent are Marillion, similarities to whom in melody and style can't easily be missed. Lead vocalist Eric Boles has a voice that almost entirely embodies Fish and Peter Gabriel, adding a fragrant '70's progressive scent to the album.

Musically, the style is virtuoso. Timeline are not humble in terms of instrumentation, and players like Patrick Alvarez, Rich Stewart, and Chris Welcher have no problem showing the listener that they are fantastic musicians. This creates a slightly pompous mood similar to Dream Theater or Rush without becoming distracting. In fact, one of the most appealing things about Timeline is that leads and solos don't take the stage. The way the veritable orchestra of a band holds so tightly together, with balance and finesse, is very impressive. 

Timeline is so well done that it would make a decent album even without highlights like "Mirror In the Sky," "Vertigo," and "Heart of the Storm." It is hard (for those who care) to decide who is the most talented member of Timeline. If one had to choose, the most logical selection would be the excellent Patrick Alvarez on percussion, whose style is very similar to technical players like Mike Portnoy (compare rhythm of "Heart of the Storm" and "6:00"). 

The production is an entirely different affair. The mix is painfully bad, and at times Eric Boles' vibrato-saturated notes are slightly flat. Beyond production issues, Timeline is an outstanding release by outstanding players. 

Tom MacMillan 5/9/05



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