1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
ďOnce upon time, there were four musicians working hard to get their music heard by the masses in a town indifferent to their style and a country where popular music is summed up in three chords and poor vocals. This quartet, known in a previous incarnation as Andromeda, now calls itself Andeavor and plays a style of progressive metal as unique as the spelling of its name. No doubt they will be compared to the prog metal greats such as Dream Theater and Fates Warning, but Andeavor has an original sound you will find nowhere else in the realm of prog or metal. With the genuine lyrical genius of Doug Peck coupled with the fast, intricate guitar work of Steve Matusik, blended with the superb keyboard and guitar synth melodies of Chris Rodler, all supported by the foundation of Steve Starvaggiís impeccable percussion, you will be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic, creative, powerful, aggressive, and technical outfit than Andeavor (http://www.pickledbeast.com/pmm/and_bio.htm, 2009).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
They are a very Dream Theater/Fates Warning sounding band; there is no way to avoid it, (even if their bio wishes to dismiss it). It is their strength and their weakness.
DT and FW used to be two of my favorite bands in this genre and I can tell the sound immediately. They sound very similar to early Dream Theater. Yes, they do have original vocals and write their own lyrics, but much of it is similar to the sound of early DT.
It is good music and the lyrics provide different variations on some of the similar themes that DT and FW cover.
Once Upon Time is a re- mix of their 1999 release, celebrating its tenth year in circulation. I have not heard the original release to be able to compare it to the 2009 version.
It is not bad and considering that DT has moved away from this sound, it provides a place for the band to defend, like a Ďguardianí, that early sound. But after listening to the entire album, I felt like each song began blending into the next to the point of sounding the same. When I thought they would move into a nice instrumental arrangement and begin to improvise and innovate, they drifted back to similar sounds.
The Darkest Tear on the other hand updates the sound with some of the current DT sound. Heavier guitars and more shouting. Then itís back to the jamming and a sound similar to Once Upon Time. In fact, if no one told you the name of the album or songs you might not know which album was on the player. Do a skip through and each song almost starts the same.
The music probably sounds great live and Iím sure they have a strong local following, when Dream Theater or Fates Warning are not in town.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
If you are a fan of early Dream Theater and wish they would not have progressed to the type of music they now make, you will like this.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
For me itís going back and maybe that is a good thing. I like the old Dream Theater better than the new one. But this sounds too much like early Dream Theater and I have that already.
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes, in their local home town and region. They represent the old style DT has moved away from and many DT fans want to see come back. So they will continue to find a strong and loyal audience. I am just not sure it will grow.
Rating: 6/10 - Original lyrics and music, well performed, but sounding too similar to their heroes.
Reviewed by Prof on November 8th, 2009