Formed back in 2004 by Juan Pablo Calvo (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Time’s Forgotten have long been seen as one of the top prog metal bands out of Costa Rica, but it has been ten long years since their third album, ‘The Book Of Lost Words’ was released. Back then they were a sextet with a male singer, but Francisco Longhi and guitarist Leonardo Rojas, have both since departed. Juan, along with Jorge Sobrado (drums), Ari Lotringer (lead guitar) and Gonzalo Trejos (bass) have now been joined by Priscilla Ruiz on lead vocals. I have not come across the previous releases, but when a singer is changed it is not unusual for a band sound to change considerably, especially if they move from male to female, so I must believe that this is a totally fresh start for them.
Given that the band was formed by the keyboard player, I expected them to be musically coming from that area but instead they are coming into the genre much more from a melodic metal stance, with prog overtones. They can slow it down when they wish, and head more into the keyboard swathed sound, yet are also happy with plenty of technical guitar riffs, really mixing and changing the set all the way through so one is never sure where the next song is going to lead. On top of that they have a singer who is able to provide gentle, almost ballad-style vocals with long-held notes without a single ounce of strain, or she can be ripping into it is with a wonderful high range and power.
There is a lightness with the heavy, which makes this an incredibly easy album to listen to the very first time it is played. They use loads of contrast, and there is little room for egos as everyone does their job without a “look at how clever I am” attitude. There is no doubt at all that Time’s Forgotten are back in a big way and let us hope it is not nearly as long until we get the next album.
8/10 Kev Rowland