Exposé Online banner

Vanderhoof — A Blur in Time
(Spalax SPV 085-74182, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

A Blur in Time Cover artThose who have heard of Kurdt Vanderhoof will know him as a member of the band Metal Church. I’m no fan of that band (or metal in general), but I had heard his other-band-cum-solo-project Vanderhoof was heavily based on 70s prog, so I’m giving it a whirl. And while there is certainly a lot of 70s influence here, for the most part it comes off like early 80s metal, back when keyboards were still allowed. On the 70s side of the decade divide, I’m most reminded of Uriah Heep and Thin Lizzy; on the 80s side I’m thinking of Def Leppard with keyboards. That being said, there’s some fine musicianship here, with Vanderhoof taking some flashy solos himself and sounding perhaps a bit too polished for my taste. Brian Cokeley handles the (mostly) vintage keyboards with finesse, filling in behind the heavy guitars with Mellotron and organ. “High St.” is a high point, mixing in acoustic guitars for a welcome change, with the opening section reminiscent again of Uriah Heep in a quieter moment (not Led Zeppelin as the liner notes suggest). The one way in which Vanderhoof misses the 70s sound is that the production is way too clean, with everything sounding over-rehearsed – a little spontaneity would be welcome. Coming from the metal side of the street, they seem unaware that there’s an entire genre called prog-metal that’s been doing this stuff for years. I’m not sure we really needed a bridge between Metallica and Dream Theater.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Kurdt Vanderhoof

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

MK II - Burning Daylight – Remember the long protracted intro to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"? That's a fair enough reference point for the first track on this British trio's debut. Other reference points for this album might...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues