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Project Arcadia - "A Time Of Changes" (CD)

Project Arcadia - "A Time Of Changes" CD cover image

"A Time Of Changes" track listing:

1. Here To Learn
2. Shelter Me
3. I Am Alive
4. Beggars at the Door
5. The Ungrateful Child
6. Timeless
7. Joy
8. A Time of Changes
9. Formidable Foe
10. The Deal
11. Shadows of the Night

Reviewed by on September 10, 2014

"Breed’s presence only enhances an established act filled with just as much fantastic guitar work as vocal tracks."

Does a new vocalist really make a band….or is it the sum of the musicians themselves? Take Project Arcadia, which released the very respectable 2009 debut “From the Desert of Desire.” Created in Bulgaria by guitarist Plamen Uzunov, the band has stepped up its game since adding one of metal’s most amazing voices in Urban Breed (Trail of Murder/Serious Black/ex-Tad Morose). Clearly, Breed is a superior vocalist, taking nothing away from the stellar performance by Aleksander Atanasov on the debut and their respective styles are pretty similar. However, Breed’s presence only enhances an established act filed with just as much fantastic guitar work as vocal tracks. With the aptly titled “A Time of Changes,” the sophomore effort plays along the same path, with much better production and a notch upward in terms of excellent song writing skills. It represents another sleeper in a year piled up with great albums.

With the addition of Breed, the band has been thrust in a bigger spotlight, one filled with all kind of “Urbanites” or “Breediacs” (your author included), who desire to add whatever band the man is part of! With perfect pitch and the ability to sing anything and everything, the man quite simply dominates the universe with a smooth, effortless delivery. On “A Time of Changes,” both he and the songs actually come across to my ears like a young Dokken in its prime with much better, more modern production (and more acceptable modern elements than 90’s Dokken, that’s for sure). Check out songs like “I Am Alive” and “Timeless” and see if that comparison holds up for you.

In fact with all the subgenre tagging, I’m positive Project Arcadia will be placed in the power metal, melodic power metal, progressive metal, power/progressive metal, rock, hard rock and even alternative categories. The real answer, if it means anything, is damn good rock music! At times the band dips toes in all of these territories: power metal gallopers “Beggars at the Door” and opener “Here to Learn,” power/progressive masterpieces “A Time of Changes” and “The Deal,” and excellent modern hard rock pieces like the aforementioned “I Am Alive” and “Timeless.” Two well played ballads also make an appearance with “The Ungrateful Child” and “Joy.”

Uzunov adds a classically trained flair with a much more modern touch than the usual shredder you find around these days. With “A Time of Changes” there is a fresh take on days long past, keeping it relevant to modern ears, but scattered about are nods to the classical roots. The production is outstanding and the musicianship is above and beyond.

This sophomore full-length is definitely “a time of changes,” and all of them show the band progressing onward and upward. With a solid musician base, it seems all it took was a new “breed” of vocalists to throw the band into the melodic metal limelight. Urban tends to do this for a band, but make no mistake about it, Project Arcadia was already on the threshold, so the latest formula was: modern production + better and refreshing songwriting + Urban = home run!

Highs: Refreshing modern approach to power/progressive metal.

Lows: Nada con extremo!

Bottom line: With time for changes and the added new "Breed," Project Arcadia shines!

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)