[Review] Timelight – Selah

Timelight are an American Progressive Rock duo formed in 2013 in Oregon and with 2 albums released, the first of which in 2016. “Selah” is their second record release, self-produced and published on October 1, 2020 is available in CD and Digital. Contains 6 long-playing tracks, exceeding all but one 10 minutes in length, with rich and articulated textures. The duo Chris Rudolf/Ron Murvihill plays all the instruments and also takes care of the vocals, with the participation of a guest Ian Siegel on bass in 3 tracks. The word “Selah” from which the album takes its title has an unspecified meaning although it is a term used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible, yet difficult to interpret. The opening piece is the title track “Selah” characterized by an intricate structure where the keyboards guide the sound, the piano first and then a massive organ solo. The tempo changes and the very articulated rhythmic session are an added value, while the vocal parts with choral sections and the atmospheres created recall the Gentle Giant’s style. This is followed by a tight and technical guitar solo, and then keyboards become protagonists. The central part alternates more symphonic openings with more intricate moments, ending with a soft and dreamy insert of piano and voice that guides us down towards the end of the track. “Taken” begins with a more song-like structure, with the lead vocal in other choral sections and the layers of guitar and keyboard interacting well. With a change around 3:30 it develops more on the Progressive with the keyboards protagonists as in the great tradition of the genre, while the guitar adds power. The rhythmic session alternates more taut moments with other calmer ones, while the musicians’ technique is free to express itself during this long instrumental section. In the finale the vocal returns and the song closes, to note how the Prog turning and the increase in intensity have positively developed the track. “Saphira” has a similar structure to the previous one, with a first part sung and then giving space to a long instrumental with sounds halfway between Gentle Giant and Genesis. Here, too, the intertwining between guitar and keyboards is well executed and structured, while unlike the previous one, the second part develops a vocal plot. Always very articulate, the mixture of vocal and instrumental parts guides us to the end of the piece, presenting positive melodies. “The Goddess Liberty” has a softer beginning with layers of acoustic guitar arpeggios to which a flute is added to create a dreamy atmosphere. A vowel enters halfway between spoken and sung and the atmosphere darkens, and then the other instruments begin to enter. The second part develops a Prog theme with very intricate keyboards and unpredictable changes and inserts, very pleasant and reminiscent of the 70s. It closes with an elaborate organ solo and deep bass. “Wings of Fire” is the shortest track on the album and the only one under 10 minutes that turns out to be a tone-down interlude with plots closer to Pop-Prog. However pleasant and well structured, it has some more elaborate passages inside, recalling the passing tracks of the Prog albums of the 70s. Closes the album “Past Departure” with positive melodies and energy, a lively rhythmic session and keyboards protagonists. The vocal also adds positivity to the sound, while in the central instrumental section, in addition to tempo changes, flute guitar and keyboards are intertwined. In the second part the intensity increases with the passing of the minutes, and in the final a choral vocal closes the album with positivity. A good album with many positive ideas, a good technique by the two musicians who play all the instruments, the only flaw I find in the album is the choice of Drum Programming. In my humble opinion, a record with songs of such fine workmanship and elaboration would have deserved to be developed with the use of a real drum. Having said that, on the whole I find it a valid, smooth and enjoyable record, with many interesting ideas. The keyboard and guitar parts are technically always very well developed, as well as the long tracks never leave empty spaces resulting well composed and performed. An album recommended for lovers of Progressive sounds and a band that will certainly improve its already excellent sound with a few small tricks.

Tracklist

1. Selah! (12:33)
2. Taken (10:00)
3. Saphira (11:10)
4. The Goddess Liberty (10:58)
5. Wings of Fire (4:56)
6. Past Departure (12:15)

Lineup

Chris Rudolf / Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Vocals, Production
Ron Murvihill / Keyboards, Flute, Drum Programming, Vocals

With:
Ian Siegel
/ Bass (1,3,5)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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