Here’s a band that shouldn’t have called it a day but in the end had to. These guys never made it into the big league but they did leave with a classic album in the field of Prog music under their belts.
“Introspect” was the band’s debut album, only it doesn’t sound like a debut to me. The album is so professionally played and well produced, I’m sure the guys have been involved in other projects I haven’t heard of. The album delivers Heavy Progressive Metal in a classical manner that’s easily absorbed and likable.
The band composes heavy acrobatic rhythms (sometimes with a light thrash influence) with many keyboard textures, passionate guitar solos and progressive drumming, a by the book approach which sounds great though not original. The first band one would compare T.Q.R. with is DREAM THEATER, only a less epic and more structured version because the band’s songs are shorter and more accessible than the lengthy masterpieces of D.T.
The first four songs end up as my favourites, especially the third song “Second Time Around” has some mind blowing guitar work. “Drowning” turns to darker moods while the next song “Laughing At Your Expense” is a swift five across the eyes, so you’re in for a wide range of well executed Progressive Metal.
“Extramental” displays a heavy instrumental that really shows the muscles of the veterans involved, just listen to the technical drums and keyboards. The sound is classic Prog Metal with everything in balance, almost; the guitars are heavy, almost thrashy and the drums have a clear sound but I feel the keyboards could have been pushed further into the picture because they are a bit behind.
This album won’t be easy to find today but if you can’t digest the high level complexity of Progressive Metal, this band ought to be the obvious alternative, that is if you can get your hands on it. (Online October 9, 2004)