Reviews of TIMELINE Debut CD, TIMELINE

"If I were to begin another progressive metal review with a new elaboration on the all-too familiar comment of there being very few new bands with any originality in the genre, chances are I'd die from boredom even before one of my two remaining loyal readers got here and tried to rip my heart out with a teaspoon. In other words, I'm not going to pretend to be eloquent about it, and I sure as hell don't plan to die before I go to the Rainbow tomorrow. Let it suffice for me to say that Timeline, the specimen hereby reviewed, has its own sound, which is good because of two things: One: I'll be able to go out tomorrow. Two: Eric Boles, the band's singer, sounds like Psychotic Waltz' Buddy Lackey, which is pretty damn interesting considering the fact that most people try to sound like James LaBrie or some succedaneum thereof nowadays. Three (I never learned how to count, so sue me): There are hints not only of Psychotic Waltz and Rush, but also of relatively-obvious acts like IQ and Marillion, and even a subtle whiff of Guns N' Roses at the very end of "Rampage." Moving on.

Boles' comrades are all in top shape technically, can put their respective pairs behind their playing, and have a nice taste for diversity. The kindergarten star, however, goes to Patrick Alvarez's little (or big, I don't know the guy, so sue me) forehead, for his tasty flurry of activity recalls a young Neil Peart's, who in turn would have received a shiny star sticker decades ago were this particular reviewer quite a bit older. But what the hell, this is a nice kindergarten teacher we're talking about, so they all get stars just because of the fascinating chorus of "Mirror In The Sky," the wonderful Arabic tints in "Journey's End," and the interesting, mysterious, and grand slow pace of most of "Heart Of The Storm." In fact, although flawed in certain aspects, Timeline's songwriting will allow the band to skip a bunch of grades as far as I'm concerned. And if I turn a blind eye to the slouch "Borrowed Time" and the trite "When I Look Into Your Eyes," well, I can't help but think that these guys are really on to something. Alright, so I'm not really a kindergarten teacher. Sue me.

Now, I'm no kindergarten teacher, and I might be a snake, but I'm no liar. Timeline is a band with rough songwriting edges yet to sort out, and its debut's production could certainly be more solid, which would have let the members' instruments breathe more at certain points where things get just a slight bit too muddy, but there is definitely promise here. This is a band that is certainly not afraid to show that Dream Theater, for instance, is an influence, but that manages to stay miles away from being a shameless and faceless clone. This is a band that, although definitely metal, is not afraid of veering into neo-prog territory with the instrumental "Vertigo." This is a band that damn it, I ran out of ideas. Sue me. The point, however, is that Timeline has released a debut that is fairly enjoyable, establishes an original sound, and shows that this band could eventually stand out in the progressive metal camp if the right choices were made in its evolution. Nice to see that such bands still exist. Or at least, that's my opinion. Don't like it? Sue me."

- Marcelo Silveyra, Progressive World


"Ignore the dragon on the cover of Timeline's self-titled debut CD; it has nothing to do with this hybrid of progressive rock, hard rock and AOR. Rather than write songs steeped in fantasy, the American sextet sings about “broken spirits” and “dancing in the pouring rain.” Lush harmonies and big melodies on songs like “Mirror in the Sky” and “Rampage” give Timeline an arena-rock sound that may prevent hardcore progheads from taking the band seriously. But with roots reaching back a decade, Timeline boasts five musicians who can play, and in Eric Boles, the band has a singer with the potential to take Timeline far. The prog influences may be subtle at times, but you almost expect to hear Steve Walsh's voice burst forth on the instrumental “Vertigo,” “The Burn” fans the flames of Dream Theater's most accessible material, and the dark and forboding “Heart of the Storm” demonstrates how the band would sound if it opted for a more metallic edge. The production here is a little thin, but hopefully Timeline will rectify that on its second CD, slated to be released sometime during winter 2005."

- Michael Popke, Sea of Tranquility


"Timeline’s music basically is a perfect blend of late 70's style hard rock, 80'sAOR and neo-prog along with 90's to present day melodic prog-metal. I read that the band gets compared to "Kansas". "Journey", "Rush" and "Dream Theater". I can’t say that Timeline is a clone of those bands, I would say that they probably are influenced by those bands.

On the debut, there’s a healthy mix of soft ballads, hard rockers and some quirky semi-complex progressive numbers. Each song has strong melodic sense, and keeps the listener interested from beginning to end. Now Timeline isn’t the most original sounding band but they do combine past ideas into a nice package of well written and executed instrumentation. This is one of those CDs that gets played a lot especially good to play with non-prog fans around. I look forward to more from these guys!

Timeline has a good future ahead of itself and hopefully will be popular enough to play at any one of the North American progressive rock festivals in the near future. If you like Progressive Hard Rock, then look no further than Timeline. Pardon the pun, but the music hear is “timeless”. You will enjoy this for years to come."

- Ron Fuchs, Prognaut


"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
The Baker Street Muse
The Phantom Toolbooth
Progressive Ears


"I first read about this band on the web, touted as a pomp prog band with touches of Styx/Zon and Angel I was to say the least intrigued. I tracked down a copy and after a couple of listens can tell you that it sounds like none of the above bands, yet is still a very good album nonetheless. Reminding me of a less technical Vox Tempus in places, the band has put together ten slices of melodic prog that have lots of catchy hooklines coupled with some wonderful guitar runs courtesy of Rich Stewart and Chris Welcher. Also for an independent release the production is of a quite high standard which always helps this kind of music. I feel that if given the chance and the right deal say on Now & Then or maybe Inside Out or one of the other labels branching out into this field of music then they could be a real find. Standout tracks to look for include Redemption / Vertigo / The Burn and Heart Of The Storm, I hope they get to do another album because I think with the proper backing and more money they could go far, well worth the few dollars investment in their cd."

- Ian Johnson, Aor Dream Zones, U.K


"Understanding that band have been influenced by the music of bands such as Kansas, Dream Theater and Marillion, I had considered letting Hairless Heart's Danny Mayo have the pleasure of reviewing the album, Danny having a penchant for the heavier/metal side of progressive rock.  But I didn't.  Sorry Danny.

Timeline's debut is a little treasure.  I don't deny that the music is on the heavy side of centre, but this has more to do with creating a BIG presence rather than destroying one's neurons.

The musical phrasing in the impressive opener, Mirror In The Sky, brings on memories of JethroTull's Broadsword album, balancing delicateness with power, the metaphorical V8 just on tickover.

Very prog indeed.  So I was momentarily taken aback when I heard the vocals of Eric Boles for the first time.  Eric has one of those classic hard rock voices which carry effortlessly and would fit right in with the likes of Black Sabbath or Uriah Heep, yet it seems just right for Timeline's music, with matching vocal harmonies from bassist Paul Alvarez and keys man Scott Evers.

The tracks are liberally dotted with hooks and riffs, the two guitarists hitting the mark in, for example, Vertigo, whilst Scott Evers on keyboards ensures that the prog flag is kept flying.

The band was formed out of the ashes of another project which had been around for about ten years and these guys know what they are doing - Paul has been playing bass for 35 years (with a break for meals?) so you can see that the individual members have a wealth of experience.

I have only had the opportunity to listen to this album about four or five times and yet to 'discover' my favourite track because, as I previously mentioned, there are hooks etc. in every track and, however short, are too good not to be in contention.  Easiest just to play the whole CD every time.  I must admit that the Genesisy odd time signature/complexity halfway through When I Look Into Your Eyes is trying to sway me."

- Jem Jedrzejewski, Hairless Heart Herald, U.K.


"Always is an interesing trip to hear works from bands that come from United States. Timeline is one of these bands. First, when you see the cover that the guys from Timeline had choose, you have in mind that you will hear an epic metal album or a true metal one. But while the tracks passed and after the "Mirror in the sky" and "Redemption", the music from Timeline becomes from complex and the songs become more progressive even if some titles have an epic metal feeling.

So finally, after the whole album you realize that the band is a very good progressive metal act the songs are really nice and well worked. Also the compositions are complex and the music direction is dedicated to the progressive sound and of course you will hear some very nice guitar solos."

- Antonis Maglaras, Metal Domination, Crete (Greece)


"Timeline follows the tradition of pure Melodic Hard Rock linked with bands from 70' and 80' glorious years, but sometimes the styles blend around Progressive Metal with touches of Classic Art-Rock, if we had to compare Timeline with something, I would include this band's style somewhere near "Kansas" and "Journey", with some echoes from "Rush" and "Dream Theater". We can listen some soft ballads, ample keyboards arrangements with classically inspired guitars sounds, in the same style of the best in this genre; good tracks with nice melodies with a strong instrumental passages. The vocals deserve a special highlight, where the musicians use different voices, all of which are sometimes highly melodic, sometimes harder, characterized by an elaborate harmonic texture, clean and melodic. Timeline can be considered as a new evolution and a revolution in a modern Prog Hard Rock. A special and particular attention to and my favorite songs are: "Mirror in the Sky", "Redemption", "The Burn", "Rampage", "Journey's End", "Heart of the Storm", "Karocell" and "When I Look Into Your Eyes". Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable."

- Carlos Alberto Vaz Ferreira, Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


"(Points: 8.6 out of 10)

They still are out there somewhere, bands out of nowhere releasing a very sensational record. For example, this Californian band called TIMELINE, which basically is playing an awesome mix of 80s AOR, 70s Pomprock and Progressive Rock/Metal, ending up sounding like a perfect cross between RUSH and TRIUMPH, with a bit of JOURNEY here and a dash of DREAM THEATER there, but I think RUSH is the absolute best comparison. 10 songs are included on their CD, and it’s incredible to hear such a high quality independent record, because it sounds good at all places (the songs, the high pitched vocals, the guitars/keys, the production etc). This TIMELINE is definitely a must-have for any Melodic Rock and Progressive Rockfan out there, but who can ignore the fantastic sound of songs like “When I look into your eyes”, “Mirror in the sky”,“Heart of the storm” and “Journey’s end”. Definitely one of those must-have CD releases!"

- Gabor Kleinbloesem, Strutter 'Zine The Netherlands


"... Timeline, like many upstart bands, does show themselves to be a band that is capable of creating some great music in the future, there are enough sections of progressive rock magic here to justify their presence as a new band to watch out for, hopefully they can address some of the issues that are common with freshman releases and follow this one up with a more cohesive and refined product."

- ProGGnosis


"Try to imagine, for once, a GOOD fusion of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. Quite hard, eh? In most cases, the result is more like 80´s Hair Metal with a keyboard filling all the empty spaces. Well, that´s NOT the sound of Timeline, a band that´s more reminiscent of the best moments of Queenryche, early Kansas and Marillion with Fish on the vocals. Timeline is also way more melodic than other groups of the genre, but that doesn´t mean the band has one foot on the MTV crowd (like Evanescence). And this is just their debut album! Who knows where they can go from here? The musical talent to become a force to be reckoned with they already have, in spades; let´s just hope they don´t bow to commercialism, cause the world is already getting tired of poseurs like Evanescence, Limp Bizkit and the like."

- Sergio Martorelli, Editor DVD Total Magazine, Rio de Janiero, Brazil


"Received your CD today and I love the tune Vertigo! ... Thanks and expect to hear Vertigo and possibly others on the station and the show!"

- Matt Sweitzer, Canvas Productions


"This past Thursday, we were honored with the world premiere of the debut disc by Timeline. The band has a fantastic future ahead for them."

- Kenneth L. Solomon, Progressive Soundscapes Radio