Science fiction influenced progressive rock band ‘In Continuum’ was formed by Dave Kerzner (keyboards and vocals) and Matt Dorsey (bass) who are two former members of Sound Of Contact (SOC) which is currently on hiatus. The album ‘Acceleration Theory’ is their debut album and contains songs that were written for the second SOC album. Randy McStine also features on guitar, Gabriel Agudo and Leticia Wolf on vocals and Marco Minnemann and Nick D'Virgilio on drums along with many other special guests.
The "Acceleration Theory" story (taken from the album’s bandcamp page) is a sci fi concept album about a female alien named AlienA (Wolf) who falls in love with an Earth man named Kai (Agudo). She comes to Earth to warn us that we're in danger of a pending full scale annihilation from the aliens who are responsible for mankind's evolution on Earth for millions of years. This album is part one of the story. The songs are outlined below but as it is a concept album I will focus on the musicianship, the instruments and songwriting rather than the lyrics.
The opening title track “Acceleration Theory” is a six-minute instrumental that begins with radio static before a single low octave note leads into piano and strings. An orchestral piece, the drums do not come in until about half-way through.
“Crash Landing” features Steve Hackett who plays some wonderful guitar. It raises the tempo a bit and is quite funky. It was released as a music video and is probably my favourite song on the album.
“I Remember” is slightly slower. It features a very fast but beautiful sounding arpeggiated guitar riff that may seem a little off kilter to the rest of the instruments but fits perfectly.
“Two Moons Setting With The Sun” changes the time signature of the drums to something a little more unusual and highlights how great a drummer Marco is. About half-way through the song there is a short guitar followed by a short keyboard solo. The keyboard solo has a definite influence from early Marillion.
“Scavengers” is another music video. It is quite a fast-paced song with a lovely high tempo piano riff. It is quite short at only four minutes and there is a fantastic drum solo in the breakdown. Another of the highlights of the album.
“Be The Light” is another song that heavily features piano. The tempo drops slightly compared to the song before. It features the legendary Steve Rothery playing a wonderful guitar solo.
“Hands Of Time” is the longest song on the album at eleven minutes long. It is quite heavy by the album’s standards and there is a strong King Crimson influence but there are also very mellow moments in the verses and some lovely acoustic guitar passages. I especially like the guitar solo at the end.
The three minute “Racing Through The Past” has a similar sound to the opening instrumental but does not feature any drums. This is the first time we hear a female voice more prominently on the album. I especially like the synth bassline that comes in the end.
The bassline leads into “AlienA”. This song is the most electronic sounding of the album. I can hear quite a lot of late-era Muse on this song but with female vocals. There are live drums, but they come in sporadically and it is mostly built on a simple programmed beat influenced by dance music.
“Meant To Be” is not really a song but could be considered more of a segue. It is a lovely little piece with a hypnotic piano riff.
“Man Unkind” starts off with a nice relaxed jazz feel to the drumming and piano before it gets a bit heavier later. There is some superb bass playing on this song and some great hi-hat work on the drums.
“Banished” has a heavy guitar riff and a distorted and scary vocal sample. At three minutes, it is mostly instrumental, is the most orchestral sounding song on the album and quite similar in arrangement to the opening piece. Another Muse influenced song and a superb way to finish the album.
One thing I have noticed about this album is even though Dave Kerzner is the lead vocalist and keyboardist, he is not the central focal point of the album and everybody has a chance to shine. There are a lot of talented people involved but nobody is fighting for space. Despite this, I must give a special mention to Marco Minnemann who plays some phenomenal drumming on the songs he performs on. There are a lot of piano and string sounds on the album but the organ and synth is a bit more subtle, but it never feels that all the songs sound the same. In Continuum have created a masterpiece of futuristic progressive rock.