I'm guessing the vast majority of us rock and metal fans can't name the keyboard player of ninety percent of the bands we enjoy. Sure we can remember Rick Wakeman of Yes, maybe Neal Morse of Transatlantic, and a few others. But unless you have a photographic memory or you're some kind idiot savant, your recollection probably stinks. I couldn't tell you that Darrel Treece-Birch was the keyboard player for UK melodic rock band Ten (let alone Nth Ascension or Rush tribute band Counterparts), and I've listened to and reviewed many of their albums.
With No More Time, the talented musician arrives with his first solo album. First, the work is a concept album. In the press release. Treece-Birch takes a long paragraph to explain. It's alot of esoteric metaphysical rambling but, boiling it down, the album has something to do with the journey of the human spirit. Thankfully, much of this is explained in the very comprehensive liner notes. Second, Treece-Birch has invited a bevy of guest musicians to help him in this project, mostly from the aforementioned three bands of which he is a member. Third, No More Time is largely an instrumental album. If I counted correctly, and excepting some spoken word parts, there are only four songs with vocals. Of these, one of the best songs, Music of the Spheres, features Karen Fell as the vocalist. She has a marvelous melodic sweetness to her voice.
With these things in mind, something should be said of the music, Treece-Birch's song composition. Obviously, the keyboard parts are substantial, but he also seems to favor an abundance of guitar lines and solos. The character of the music is largely atmospheric, etheral, and orchestral, then having simply a light melodic rock timbre. Perhaps gentleness and reflection come to mind upon listening to The River Dream, Music Of the Spheres, or Twlight. There seems to a thoughtful quiet determination to Treece-Birch's arrangements There are exceptions like Freedom's Paradigm which has a bolder approach and character, notably in the guitar line and rhythm section. All in all, adding these things up, No More Time is simply large, lush, and expansive, and a fine accomplishment for Darrel Treece-Birch. If any of the preceding words describe what he was intending from the start for this project, he pretty much nailed it. Easily recommended.
As a work of melodic progressive rock, No More Time is simply large, lush, and expansive, and a fine accomplishment for Darrel Treece-Birch. Easily recommended.
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