Time In Place is the studio debut of Louisville sextet, Artifex Pereo. Forming in 2009, Artifex Pereo previously released two albums independently before parting ways with former vocalist Evan Redmon in 2012 and signing with Tooth & Nail Records.
Time In Place, which was released on May 27, has already left its mark on the Billboard charts in two separate categories. At the time of the release of this review, it has already peaked at #17 on the Heatseekers Chart and has peaked at #26 on the US Christian Albums chart.
Falling under the genre of experimental rock, Time In Place definitely lives up to its label. I found it difficult to predict the direction in which the album was heading. As a listener, you’re treated to a multitude of songs that are strong and in your face, such as the opener, “No Stranger To Worry.” The tempo is more on the slower side at the beginning of the song, and within a minute of listening, you get a clear understanding of how talented lead vocalist, Lucas Worley, is. In that short period of time, he hits flawless falsettos, astounding runs, and his tone never falters.
Once you’re about a third of the way through the song, the tempo picks up, and the song just goes and goes from there – and that leads to a bit of problem. This track couldn’t keep my attention. There was too much to focus on. It’s one of those songs that you think is over, but then glance at the time and see it has well over a minute left, and that minute doesn’t really contain enough to make it seem useful. Now, had this song been the album closer, it would have been perfect. But to have such a big song right from the get-go, the odds of losing listener interest are potentially increased.
Luckily, the second track, “To Listen & Say Nothing,” brought my interest back, and I think that it has a lot to do with the song immediately starting out with vocals. You aren’t forced to comprehend battling instrumentals. Each musical component works together as one, and it makes for a more effective song. It’s a bit shorter than the prior track, and the song isn’t full of intensity from beginning to end. There are moments when the song goes into a softer tempo, breaking up the intensity. So your attention is fully encompassed into this track.
If I was to point out one flaw that is consistent throughout Time In Place, it would be that there is too much. It seems that when Artifex Pereo found something that they loved in the songs, they would overuse it. For example, in the track “Annica,” there are a lot of vocal runs. While they are executed perfectly by Worley, it seems that there are too many crammed into the song. At a point, almost every other, if not every, line ends or begins with some sort of run. It goes from being impressive to being too much. Had they cut down a bit, this song would almost be flawless. But on the bright side, one thing I really love about “Annica” is that there is a contrast between vocals and instrumentals. For a majority of the song, the vocals are on the softer side, while the music is harder. Aesthetically, it’s a very pleasing combination.
There are quite a few instances of unpredictability, as is common in the experimental rock genre. Now, when I say unpredictability, it’s not a bad thing; it’s actually a very much welcomed aspect of the album. One song that really captures the album’s unpredictability is “Aperion.” This track never goes in the direction you expect it to. It tends to build up to a point where you think you know where the song is going, but then takes a completely different direction. And that direction is even better than the one you had predicted. The music and vocals will hit a point of softness that just keeps getting softer. But instead of packing a punch and turning the tempo up, which is usually where a song goes, it keeps the soft tempo going. Then, the tempo will increase at an unexpected moment. Also, Worley’s screams are on point, and they aren’t overdone. He picks the perfect moment to execute them, and he doesn’t push them further than they need to go.
My favorite song is “Liable For Tragedy.” It’s the softest track on the album, and you finally are treated to Worley’s full talent. He’s one of the best vocalists that I have heard in a long time, and I think that’s something that carries Time In Place to the point of success. Even though the song is the most different one on the album, it still follows suit in that the mood of the song changes often over the duration of the track. You also get to hear guitarist/vocalist Jamie Davis a little better in this song, and he is just as great as Worley. The way their voices work together is brilliant, and the range that each one of them possesses is impeccable. This is one song that I play on repeat because I don’t want it to end. It seems like so much attention was paid to this song in particular. It is the perfect combination of haunting and beautiful, but it is also extremely dynamic in its structure. You can check out this song at the end.
Overall, Time In Place is a fantastic compilation of 13 awesome tracks. The songs individually are spectacular. Unfortunately, at times, the combination of all of the songs together does not mesh well. The flow from one song to the next is not always solid and cohesive. But that shouldn’t deter you from listening to this album. As far as a debut album goes, it’s pretty near perfect.
You can purchase a CD copy of Time In Place here.
Artifex Pereo were on tour with Wolves At The Gate and the Orphan, the Poet, but unfortunately they had to drop out due to medical reasons. But once they are all healed and feeling better, be sure to buy concert tickets to their shows.
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