Time Traveller - Chapters I & II

10 songs
38:55 minutes
Nordic Notes


The idea of concept albums isn’t new, especially in the progressive rock world. I only start getting serious doubts when someone tries this all without vocals. Time Traveller is something like a one man band consisting of Juhani Nisula who’s playing mostly the guitars but also a wide range of archaic keyboards (Hammond organ, mellotron, Moog synthesizers,…). He is only joined by drummer Esko Takamäki and two guests that provide a violin and a Moog solo.

Chapters I & II is the first part of a planned trilogy, coming with two chapters of about twenty minutes each, that again are subdivided into five parts to allow a more convenient skipping around. Nisula’s instrument collection is more than just respectable, and he’s also quite good at playing them, but his songwriting skills can’t yet just keep up with his ambitions. He’s jumping around between Seventies hard rock and early prog rock patterns, alternating between upbeat rock movements and melodic balladry, and while all of it makes sense, the sum of the parts just doesn’t make for something you’d want to listen to again and again.

Time Traveller should really reconsider his modus operandi when he tackles the middle part of the trilogy. Instrumental music probably needs even more thought through structuring than vocal based music, as there are no choruses and lyrics that you can hold on. While Chapters I & II is certainly not an utter failure, it eventually works best as a stylistic exercise. Once the composer comes up with more elaborate material, I am sure that Time Traveller will have a definite chance at making their mark.

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