25 May 2018 (released)
16 April 2018
Admittedly, the first thought that comes to mind within a split second of hearing German progressive metal band Tomorrow's Eve was “When did Iron Maiden get so good?!?” The immediate correlation between them and the British '80s metal titans comes from the similar timbre and vocal choices of Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and Tomorrow's Eve frontman, Martin LeMar. Both singers have very impressive vocal ranges and bring an operatic feel to a genre that is replete with doggish growls and barks. However, where Iron Maiden stays on course with their proprietary brand of galloping pirate metal, Tomorrow's Eve digs deeper, venturing into the realm of mind-bending guitar acrobatics and ratcheting rhythm section grooves that are the territory of progressive masters like Dream Theater. LeMar's lyrics are a healthy mix of psychological questioning and dystopian conceptualization making for much more compelling subject matter than the typical demons and gore that plague other writers in the genre. Their Halloween-ish themes end up looking goofy where LeMar's subject matter has legs, retaining its relevance and deepening in meaning upon further listens.
Their fifth album Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros opens with 'Welcome to the Show' showcasing the band's impressive prowess alternating between adrenaline-soaked syncopations and expansive, catchy breakdowns. Guitarist Rainer Grund plays a roller coaster of melodic shredding, keyboardist Oliver Schwickert lays out dramatic piano cadences and bassist Mike LePond and drummer John Macaluso pummel out rapid-fire, punishing grooves. All while LeMar plays the master of ceremonies hyping the spectacle to come but also giving a peek behind the curtain, acknowledging the inevitable veil of fallacy inherent in any such performance.
The lead single 'Bread and Circuses' comes out of the gate with Grund playing arcade game fluttering guitars and Macaluso playing hard and fast with his ride cymbal. LeMar takes on a more hushed tone for the verse, juxtaposing his expansive wail in the choruses. He tells tales of woe and misguided journeys, mourning our loss of morality in a biting and poignant commentary. The band progs out hard but still tastefully allows LeMar's message to come through loud and clear. A notion eschewed by many heavier bands.
After quintessential counter-culture musings, 'The System', 'Law and Order', and 'Dream Within a Dream', the band has a highlight late in the album with 'Inner Sanctum'. Begun with a brilliant bass intro accompanied by light, fantastical '80s synthesizer, the track ebbs and flows between trippy triplet riffing and airy, pensive verses. Again taking on the disillusionment of a dysfunctional society, Le Mar finds refuge in his own inner world. The song is one of the album's best.
Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros shows off the German prog-metal group operating at peak efficiency. Breaking off massive riffage with ease yet still serving the song at every point creating catchy, captivating pieces. A powerful addition to the genre.