Thoughts Factory is new progressive metal band from Germany featuring some musicians with significant session work. Bass player Bernd Schönegge and drummer Chris Maldener have worked with guitarist Paul Gilbert; guitarist Markus Wittmann with Alan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson and Mike Miller. With vocalist Marcus Becker, these musicians are the oldest players in the band as Thoughts Factory was founded by Sven Schornstein, at the young age of seventeen. Lost is their debut album.
Thoughts Factory aren't shy about the sound they're after, noting influences like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, among others. They probably travel a path relies more on the heaviness of Symphony X and less on the lighter melodic prog of Transatlantic. Both Death of A Dream and The Deep Forest turn on thicker riffs for a heavier sound. Both also include some gruff vocals, like faux death metal vocals, in the latter half. Desperation is also weighty; it's mood fitting the title. It's a dark and heavy with thick guitar riffs and acidic leads, definitely giving you the feeling desolation or hopelessness. (Lost turns on the concept one's loss after a loved one commits suicide.)
This gloom is immediately followed by Light, an intentionally soft number driven by light piano. This in turn is followed by Voices From Heaven, the single song on the recording that reminds of a Transatlantic or, better, Neal Morse number, though, in parts, probably heavier than either band. You might suspect that these two songs, because of the musical and lyrical character, are the hinge upon which the album' concept turns, moving from despair to hope, darkness to light. But you would be wrong. The final three songs, by their titles alone, No Way Out, The Mire, and Death of a Dream, reflects upon despair once more, and the heavier progressive metal reinforces it. Excepting the flurry of some frisky lead guitar within the latter half of No Way Out, these songs are dense, dark, and melancholic in character. Nevertheless, Thoughts Factory puts forth a strong effort, and makes you wonder how differently the music might sound if the topic were more cheerful. Lost is a fine start for the band.
Thoughts Factory's debut, Lost, is a fine first effort from the band, offering heavier, darker, progressive metal.
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