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Thought Chamber: Psykerion
Thought Chamber - Psykerion Debut Album CD Review

Thought Chamber: Psykerion

Progressive Rock/Metal

Formed in 2007 by Enchant vocalist Ted Leonard and guitarist extraordinaire Michael Harris (Darkology, solo, et al), Thought Chamber returns with their second release Psykerion. Leonard and Harris are joined in this enterprise by drummer Mike Haid (David T. Chastain, Joe Stump, etc), bassist Jeff Plant and keyboardist Bill Jenkins (Enchant).

Thought Chamber Psykerion Band Photo

Thought Chamber: thinking up some beer.

Knowing of Michael Harris's exceptional skills as guitarist, his strength in song composition, and the talent that surrounds him you basically expect some exceptional progressive rock from Thought Chamber. And that's what you get. Psykerion, a concept album (see note below), glides from classic progressive rock and metal to jazz rock fusion through the course of this disc with effortless ease. Of course, it's lit up by Harris's crazy good guitar wizardry. But it's also refined and sweetened by Leonard's versatile and emotive vocals.

At the start, you're presented with a flurry of prog in Inceptus, Exodus, and Psykerion, as a grand entrance with Harris sizzling and Jenkins's colorful synth additions. They're three songs over six minutes with Leonard's first vocal performance coming in the middle of the title track. A pause comes with In The Words Of Avakus to introduce the protagonist via Leonard over Harris's acoustic guitar. The same guitar leads into the first longer track of traditional progressive rock, Light Year Time, sounding like a mixture of Kansas and Dream Theater. And it keeps getting better.

Without spilling the details of every song (it's been done elsewhere on the Internet by people with more time and bigger brains than yours truly), there's some terrific moments to point out. One is the pair of songs The Black Hole Lounge and Circuits of O.D.D.. The former offer that jazz fusion, in an almost swing, feel than quickly moves into the latter, a rush of straight up rock and guitar in less than two minutes. The Eyes of Ikk get more of that jazzy shift in the latter half. One of Leonard's most sublime and passionate performances comes with Breath of Life. Transcend is likely the signature piece of the album and delivers on that aforementioned effortless glide from pure classic prog rock to flares of jazz rock fusion. The musicianship is compelling to the point of being dangerous.

Indeed, Psykerion is a compelling and entertaining album, a fine return to form for Thought Chamber. Quite recommended.

Michael Harris on the Concept of Psykerion

"Psykerion is a concept album, lyrically somewhere between sci-fi and a human drama, and musically somewhere between the furious and the tranquil. The story takes place well into the future and is told from the eyes of a young boy, Avakus. While witnessing a perilous mission aboard the futuristic city-like ship, Kerakryps-One, as it traverses through the galaxy of Psykerion, Avakusí life is forever altered, causing him to reflect on and question his own life, as well as the objectives and destiny of all mankind." - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Indeed, Psykerion is a compelling and entertaining album, a fine return to form for Thought Chamber. Quite recommended.

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