Artist:  Appearance Of Nothing
   Title: Wasted Time
   Label: Escape Music

Hot out of Switzerland come Appearance of Nothing.  The band formally know as No Thanx return with an album that will rock all those Symphonic Metallers out there with their mix of traditional metal guitars, soaring keyboards and orchestral mixes, along with the haunting vocals of front man and founding member Pat Gerber.  Also thrown into the mix are the contrasting second vocals of bassist Omar Cuna, which make for a very interesting musical experience. 

The album opens up with ‘Man In The Mirror’, this song really give you a feel of the whole Appearance Of Nothing sound, with Gerber’s Roger Waters style vocals and the thumping rhythm section Yves Luthi on drums and Omar Cuma’s bass, both making their presence felt from the off, together with a stpmping mid section that is straight out of Dream Theater’s repertoire.

The band have a very unique take on the Symphonic Metal sound as the album continues to prove with the majestic ‘The Gambler’, which once again has echoes of Floyd.  Only this time the added angst of Cuna’s more metal vocals, along with the Melodic tones of Gerber’s own vocal style, these two very different styles actually work really well and give a great mix of both the light and the dark shades of metal.

This very versatile style the band have really makes for a great album as it continues with ‘Drifting Away’, a more sedate song with an almost folkish feel to it.  Very Jethro Tull in parts but without the flute.  Then as the song reaches its climax the power of the bass and drums take over, along with a great soaring keyboard section that leads into the soaring guitars of Gerber and Peter Berger.

‘Wasted Time’ is another thunderous slice of Symphonic Metal as the bass and drum intro fade out, the towering guitars and keyboards intervene before the bass and drums take over yet again and so the mix continues with the vocals of Gerber and Cuna the catalyst that makes it all work so beautifully.

But the band aren’t all about the rampaging metal theme, they do have a more gentler side as the ballad ‘Wrapped In Silence’ shows so well.  This one hints at shades of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ for sure. 

It's back to the more powerful material with ‘Lies Of A Memory’ before the epic three parter ‘The Science Of Light’.  Part one entitled ‘Into The Light’ is an all out insurgence of powerful bass and drums infused with haunting keyboard flurries, with the final section being completed with the guitars of Gerber and Berber, which add to the splendour of the piece.  Then it’s the powerful ‘Out Of The Dark’ with Gerber’s vocals setting the tone with that sombre almost choral feel, with the more gruff vocal of Cuna adding that darker edge and the more futuristic keyboards of Marc Petralito adding an extra dimension to proceedings.  Again there's visions of Dream Theater in there with the added newscast snippets.  The final piece of this 14-minute epic is the ‘Reprise’, a great finale to the piece with the rampaging guitars and heavier rhythm section. 

The final track on this quite superb album is called funnily enough ‘The Last Song’.  A gentle more reflective piece that again shows the band have a gentler side and rounds off a really great album, that will surely see the band get the recognition they so dearly deserve.

Tracklisting:

1 Man In The Mirror
2 The Gambler
3 Drifting Away
4 Wasted Time
5 Wrapped In Silence
6 Lies Of A Memory
7 The Science Of Light
   Into The Light
   Out Of The Dark
   Reprise
8 The Last Song
                      

 

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