Thoughts Factory


Written by: BW on 14/02/2014 00:45:23

Thoughts Factory is the name of a German prog rock band and almost has a sort of play on words hinting towards the band being very similar to Dream Theater. “Lost” is their debut album and from the first few notes you can already tell who their creative sources are, as it leans a hell of a lot towards the mighty leaders of the genre, but they certainly bring their own style to the table too.

“Awakenings” is as modern prog intro as you could expect, with everything from random synth samples and hefty keyboard tinkering to the lead singer Marcus Becker battering out a nice bit of vocal work. I have to say, I much prefer his voice to that of James La Brie, as this lead singer is a lot less whiney than the head of DT and I think the warmer words make for a song you can accept a little easier.

I think the beauty of this album as I listen to it is that there is such a mixture of different musical things going on that it is a joy to hear, which takes a lot of skill, particularly in the prog rock area to keep on the right side of making sense. “The Deep Forest” encompasses this perfectly. The track itself starts off as a slow ballad with a lonely guitar finding some solace with a flute accompaniment. Then the keyboard driven strings kick in to add a more full bodied support to the vocals. Nearly two minutes in we begin to see the guitar work come into a more powerful role, along with almost Deep Purple styled organ chords. Then about halfway in we get some nice piano work matched with some vibrating synth feed before more keyboard work makes the effort. There are loads more things to find on the song, but too many to make space for in the review.

The reason I picked this song out in particular is that it gives you more of an indication of the story behind the album, relating to a man dealing with the aftermath of the suicide of a loved one. This song is telling of his thoughts running through his head after the terrible tragedy. Most albums of this style have a back story and I do feel that knowing about the tale behind the notes, especially if you’re a fan of the music, helps to immerse you a little more.

“Desperation” has enough minor chords to it to emote a dramatic thought process and does sound more like what you expect in terms of a generic song in a prog album. full of different time signatures, including a nicely deep and meaty headbang moment near the end. Ironically, my favourite track off the album is “Light” which really doesn’t lend itself to any major guitar, drum or thrash styled influence at all. It is a really simple piano melody with Marcus singing along with some harmonic accompaniment. It is a really good example of a simple idea performed at the right time to maximum effect and that is what is done here.

From that we then delve into a lighter feel. The chords change to major, the direction of the album feels softer and again shows the emotive power that can be created with subtle changes through the duration of a record. “Voices from Heaven” is very well done and once again gives your musical hunger what it needs to feel nourished. “Lost” is pretty much an emotional rollercoaster that pulls you in every direction and does it with a big smile on its face.

Sven, Bernd, Markus, Chris and Marcus should be very happy with what they’ve produced here. As a debut album it is nothing short of outstanding. It has that classic feel of Dream Theater during their peak and they bring enough of their own talents to the table, with some of the chord and musical work just hitting the right place at the right time. I still find it hard to believe two things. First off that this is the first major release they’ve done since forming and the second is that I’m surprised I’d not heard of them before getting this to review. Perhaps it’s because Germany were too scared to let them out into the world and wanted to rightfully keep them for themselves, but I can’t see that now.

The best accolade I can give this album from Thoughts Factory is that it means that all other prog rock bands will have to keep their game on because this is up there with some of the best I’ve heard in a long time. The genre has always been an acquired taste, but for those who like to dine on this style, you’ll eat well. This album is a brand maker and I think we’ll see more of them as time goes on.


Download: Light, Voices From Heaven, Awakenings, The Deep Forest
For The Fans Of: Dream Theater, Opeth, Symphony X,

Release Date 15.02.2014

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