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Neo-Prog • Germany

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Seasons Of Time biography
This German Neo Prog act from Bremen begun life in 1993 with its mastermind Dirk Berger on bass and the original crew featuring Willie C. Kimbrough on vocals, Thorsten Klein on guitars, Lars Ebsen on drums and Andreas Meyer on keyboards. Thorsten Klein would quit two years later, he was replaced by Stephan Dinter, and prior to the recordings of their debut Ebsen was replaced by new drummer Erik Pilger and Kimbrough left his place to Malte Twarloh. With this line-up Seasons of Time recorded their debut ''Behind the mirror'' in 1997, a dramatic concept work dealing with a mad woman who killed her children for the sake of her new lover, containing evident hints from the music of GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, MARILLION and PENDRAGON. Shortly afterwards begins a long period of incosistence for the group. Dinter and Meyer left the band and newcomers Bert Mueller and Matthias Mueller enter the picture on drums and guitars respectively. More line-up shakes occurred in 2001. Matthias Mueller leaves and Seasons of Time moved on with guitarist Juergen Ludewig, while Berger found also a new keyboard player, Frank Brusius. The major hits though came a few years later. Twarloh abandoned Seasons of Time, who were now in search of a singer and in 2006 Andreas Hoffmann would replaced him. But in 2010 Berger, tired of the numerous line-up changes, dissolved the band after the departures of his long-time collaborators Bert Mueller and Frank Brusius. The following year he made an attempt to revive his band, taking over both the bass and keyboard duties. Twarloh returned behind the microphone and with the later addition of Marco Gruehn on drums and Florian Wenzel on guitars the second album of Seasons of Time ''Closed doors to open plains'' eventually saw the light in 2014 on Progressive Promotion Records, following the current trend of Neo Prog bands with a bit of a heavier style.

Essential discovery for anyone in love with the sound of MARILLION, GENESIS, ARENA or KNIGHT AREA.

Seasons Of Time official website

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Open Doors to Open PlainsOpen Doors to Open Plains
CD Baby 2013
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SEASONS OF TIME discography

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SEASONS OF TIME top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 9 ratings
Behind The Mirror
2.83 | 27 ratings
Closed Doors to Open Plains

SEASONS OF TIME Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SEASONS OF TIME Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Closed Doors to Open Plains by SEASONS OF TIME album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.83 | 27 ratings

Closed Doors to Open Plains
Seasons Of Time Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German band SEASONS OF TIME was formed back in 1993, and released their debut album "Behind the Mirror" four years later. Then this project went underground, and following a lengthy spell of apparent inactivity they reappeared in 2014 with their second album "Closed Doors to Open Plains", which was released through the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

Seasons of Time has made what I'd described as a flawed production with their second full length recording "Closed Doors to Open Plains". The music as such is rather enjoyable admittedly, but the detrimental presence of the lead vocals becomes too much of an annoying feature, at least for me. Those not as concerned with the quality of the lead vocals might find this CD to be an enjoyable affair though, then first and foremost those who enjoy neo progressive rock created in the spirit of the symphonic oriented neo bands from the early 90's.

 Behind The Mirror by SEASONS OF TIME album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.11 | 9 ratings

Behind The Mirror
Seasons Of Time Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Seasons Of Time came to life in Bremen during October 1993 with an original core of Willie C. Kimbrough (vocals), Thorsten Klein (guitar), Lars Ebsen (drums), Dirk Berger (bass) and Andreas Meyer (keyboards).1995 sees Klein abandoning the wagon and Stephan Dinter jumping in and the following year Ebsen was replaced by Erik Pilger.By 1997 only Berger remained from the original line-up with Kimbrough and Meyer both replaced by Malte Twarloh, who could sing and play the keyboards.The same year the band releases independently the debut ''Behind the mirror'', a concept work around a true story of a woman from United Stares, who killed her childern to live her life in luxury with a lover.

While the influences from the music of MARILLION, PENDRAGON and other Neo Prog groups is clearly evident, the Germans could produce some beautiful melodies and intense atmospheres, propably helped by the concept story, which is based on deep keyboard sounds and electrified guitar moments, as many bands did at the time.The main theme is developed through 15 short pieces, which can be laid-back, atmospheric, aggressive or bombastic, depending on each part of the story, but the bulk of the album follows a rhythmic style with diverse keyboard moments, including organ, piano and synthesizers, and soft to melodic guitar lines, sometimes with a slight PINK FLOYD aura, especially during the lyrical passages.Close to the trend of the time their tracks contained dreamy keyboard textures, calm piano lines and more flashy synth solos over a palette of guitar-driven ideas with the overall style flirting with compatriots ZIFF and ZENOBIA.A few pieces ended up to be a bit disjointed/uninspired with rockin' leads or slight psychedelic vibes, the same occurs though for a couple of folky tunes, led by a charming flute performance and being among the highlights of the album.

Were Seasons Of Time ready to kick some asses with their debut?I doubt so.But their music was up there with the better-known bands of the style, featuring nervous symphonic moments, good melodies and pompous deliveries.Decent and recommended stuff.

 Closed Doors to Open Plains by SEASONS OF TIME album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.83 | 27 ratings

Closed Doors to Open Plains
Seasons Of Time Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

2 stars For numerous reasons, most of them concerned with line-up changes, it has taken 17 years for Seasons of Time to return with the follow-up to 'Behind The Mirror'. Dirk Berger (bass, keyboards, vocals) has been there since the beginning, while Malte Twarloh (vocals, guitar, keys) also sang on the debut but prior to coming back for this recording left the band in 2006, with the line-up now completed by guitarist Florian Wenzel and drummer Marco Gruhn. Here we have a classic case of an album that could actually be great, but has failed on a somewhat important hurdle, that of the vocals. While musically this is a really right outfit with a lot going for them, the vocals just don't work for me. I have tried, really tried, and have managed to get to the point where they are almost bearable, but they just are nowhere near the standard of the music that is playing underneath. I haven't heard the debut, so can't state if they are the same there, but when the singer has problems keeping on a note, obvious issues with breath control for sustain, then one has to wonder.

It is almost as if there are two sets of recordings here, with a top notch band recording some great music in a studio, while the vocals have been added from a demo tape. It is incredibly frustrating as if they had turned this into a pure instrumental album then it would actually have a lot more going for it, with neo-prog moving into a more prog metal territory. It has taken them an age to record their second album, but unless they change their approach I can't see there being a great deal of demand for a third. If this was purely instrumental then it would be a 3.5/4 for me, but as it stands then it is 2.5 at absolute best.

 Closed Doors to Open Plains by SEASONS OF TIME album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.83 | 27 ratings

Closed Doors to Open Plains
Seasons Of Time Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have such mixed feelings on this second album from Seasons of Time. I wouldn't call it a mixed bag; however, I do feel that there is a certain inconsistency here that I would like to address. This German band has an awesome style of music that brings all the best elements of the neo-progressive style into one neat, tight package. However, there is more lying under the surface.

Opening with the drawn out sound of birds and the great outdoors, "Closed Doors to Open Plains" builds wonderful suspense and anticipation, perhaps a bit too much. However, Seasons of Time has crafted an album of sixteen tracks that tend to be shorter, but all connected. Their interesting themes that seem to have to do with relationships are captivating, especially in the way the emotion comes through in the music,

Indeed, the music is simply fantastic. It's top-notch, top tier stuff. Guitars raise the hair on our necks with searing solos and theatrics, the keyboards are perfectly tuned and expertly composed, the drums are perfectly technical and never pretentious, and the bass is rollicking and foot-stompingly good. Yes, the music, as I said, takes all the best elements and makes them even better. If this were an instrumental album, it would certainly get full stars from me.

However, "Closed Doors to Open Plains" isn't instrumental. Vocalist Malte Twarloh is present, and I wish to high heaven that he weren't. This guy can't sing. It's that simple. His voice is off-key, his pronunciation could use some work and flow, and he simply does not have a pleasant sound. But, it gets worse. The lyrics are truly awful. From the very first verse, you get that feeling. Not only are the lyrics badly written, but they are cheesy and even vulgar at points. For me, progressive music is too classy to resort to dropping f-bombs for no apparent reason. I'm all for it if the situation calls for it, but Dirk seems to drop them for the hell of it. It really ruins the beautiful atmosphere and the overall character of the music.

So, there is a clear division here. Seasons of Time has composed an amazing album. However, they've failed miserably on the lyrical and vocal end of things. Thank goodness, then, that most of the album is indeed instrumental, and there are many instrumental tracks. Dirk isn't all bad, as I enjoyed his work on "Closing Doors", but that's about it. However, the sheer amount of favorite instrumental tracks is staggering, as I just love "Bite the Bullet", "Burning Bridges I and II", "Fuzz & Buzz", "The Station at the Border of the Mind", and others. So, essentially, what we have here is tight music mixed with sloppy vocals and lyrics.

Seasons of Time is still worth your money. This is a definite buy for anyone that loves neo- prog. However, be warned that the album has some unpleasant, rough moments. Though, if you are in it for the music only, you will be thrilled.

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition.

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