Inside Out Music (2012)
Keyboardist Adam Wakeman heads up this progressive rock/metal quintet Headspace. Besides being the son of infamous Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, he’s also known in the hard rock circles for tickling the ivories for Ozzy Osbourne. The lineup features another notable musician to longtime progressive metal fans, as vocalist Damien Wilson performed for years as Threshold’s singer. “I Am Anonymous” is their debut album, and with 8 songs and a 73 minute plus recording you come into the game knowing that there will be extended instrumental sections and sprawling arrangements. The emphasis in terms of technical parts though appears to be split between Adam and guitarist Pete Rinaldi, and Headspace as a result represent a heavier entity than the Yes, Rush, and Genesis influences that do penetrate songs like “Fall Of America” and “Die With A Bullet”.
The guitar tone has a lower staccato-laden edge, as if Pete took tips not only from Jeff Loomis and Michael Romeo but also current Dream Theater during the slower, stair-step sections of opener “Stalled Armageddon”. Damien’s smooth melodies come to the forefront along with Adam’s thoughtful piano movements during the shorter ballad “Solider”, traversing his past discography and also throwing a tip of the cap to Jon Anderson of Yes. Lyrically challenging the listener to look within their own battles of the mind through humanity from birth to death, the cerebral material mirrors the equally thorough musical accompaniment.
Headspace isn’t going to dazzle you with constant over the top soloing, time signature changes every four to eight bars or make you dizzy in terms of comprehension. The songwriting has an ebb and flow, a purpose to go from point a to point b. I do think this album could have been one song shorter (it’s tough to make it through in one sitting), but outside of that “I Am Anonymous” bridges the 70’s progressive movement with current metal leanings, and as such makes for a refreshing album.
Rating: 4 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe