Seasons Of TIme - 'Closed Doors To Open Plains'

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Seasons Of TIme - 'Closed Doors To Open Plains'

A mere seventeen years on from their debut album, German Progsters Seasons Of Time return with a hugely ambitious second release.

A mere seventeen years on from their debut album, German Progsters Seasons Of Time return with a hugely ambitious second release, 'Closed Doors To Open Plains'. It's an enigmatic title and its contradictory term is also a good insight into what you might expect to find here. That said, two main musical references do appear repeatedly across sixteen interlinked tracks which come together to tell a story of sorts, with the strains of Marillion (both eras) and Pink Floyd referenced throughout, as Neo-Prog of many flavours also shines through.

Now I say that this album tells a story, but in actuality 'Closed...' is centred round a huge overriding concept of "our" disconnect with the beauty of the world and each other. A vast subject to tackle and in truth it's a little bit of a millstone round this album's neck; the overbearing and clunky lyrics grating and the vocals at times being nothing short of awful. Now I appreciate that the forceful, blunt nature much of the lyrics and singing employ is an attempt to hammer home the callousness that can be experienced anywhere in the world today, yet the disconnect they cause comes more from stunning passages of guitar and key interplay being punctuated by lyrics such as, "You're not needed anymore, You're not worth it anymore, So fuck off!", which rear their head repeatedly across the album. Surely there's a deeper manner with which to display this emotion and ultimately one which draws you into the beautiful music, rather than pushing you away?

And that's the thing, for much of this album is indeed beautiful, but there's no getting away from the fact that the lyrics and some of the vocals (both Dirk Berger and Malte Twarloh are credited with singing. One of them can, one can't...) spoil much of the good work done. It's a real shame, for while there's a lot to like about 'Closed Doors To Open Plains', in fact musically I can't much fault it, there's an equal amount to be disenchanted by.

Steven Reid

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