Released: 2004, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Mr. Donahue has released 6 albums prior to this release. His previous one, “INTO THE LIGHT”, came 2000. After that he felt that he wanted to do something different. He then worked on MADMEN AND SINNERS for two years. He asked James LaBrie (currently also singing with the band/project Frameshift) to sing lead vocals when he wrote the album.
He planned to make this album should sound more epic and bombastic than what James had done with his main band Dream Theater.
After a lot of phone calls between the two in 2001, James agreed to sing on the album. During the summer 2002 they got together and shared their musical visions and ideas. When James later suggested the drummer Mike Mangini (Extreme/Steve Vai) as a part of the project, Tim of course thought it a good idea. The recordings started with Mike recording his drum parts in Boston at the beginning of 2003. James recorded his vocals in Barrie, Ontario Canada, Tim did everything else - guitar, bass, keyboard, engineering, producing and mixing in his own studio. Tim has done a great a job with the production; he knows exactly what he’s doing. The music is metal with some progressive parts and all of that which comes with James’s magical voice. Some of the songs are very long - two of them are about 7 minutes and one is about 15(!) minutes with some drawn out instrumentals parts. Tim has delivered 10 brilliant tracks on this album with a stunning James LaBrie on vocals. As always, when it comes to progressive metal, it can take a while to appreciate the songs. This form of music must grow a while and it takes some listening to fully enjoy and appreciate it.
I have no favorite song from the album, every one of them are strong. I have played this a lot and it becomes stronger and stronger each time. I gladly recommend it to all fans of progressive metal.