Album Review: Thought Chamber – “Psykerion”
Oh boy do they have a doozy of a concept. This story taked place on board a ship (which is actually more of a city) called Kerakryps-one and is told from the point of view of a boy called Avakus. So far so ‘Interzone’, apparently he witnesses a “perilous mission” while the ship travels through the galaxy Psykerion and this causes him to ask big questions about the destiny of mankind.
Still with us? Good, if you didn’t make it through the concept chances are this album is not for you, reflecting the hard sci-fi of the subject matter the music of Psykerion is dense and in need of a few listens. Also it’s mental, don’t forget mental because that’s what makes it great. This isn’t really an album that can be digested in chunks it absolutely needs to be heard in one sitting as it is structured as one long symphony, for want of a better word.
After about forty seconds of Iron Maiden like metal histrionics opening track Inceptus becomes a jolting keyboard/synth led prog wet dream. Then we get another short insturmental track in Exodus that is all heavy riffs andcomplicated structures and it’s not until track three that vocalist Ted Leonard (also of Spocks Beard) graces us with his prescence. And so the album continues with tracks split up as if they were a soundtrack to a musical which is the appeal of this album. Along with this guitarist and main songwriter Micheal Harris has been smart enough to seed recurring musical themes throughout the album.
Too many times I’ve read that an album is a concept album because it has an underlying theme or it’s based on a set of emotions blah blah blah. Lyrically this album is like hearing a story and the music is the perfect base for that, the sound of the album conjuring up exactly what it should, visions of space and another place. Thought Chamber know what they’re doing and they are doing it well.
Running the gamut of musical styles from all out power metal to jazz Psykerion is a well constructed and clever album that has that all important added ingredient songs. Thought Chamber may not be the most prolific of bands as each member, Micheal Harris in particular, is always busy with other projects but when they release albums of this depth and quality you are wont to forgive them.