Six Minute Century – Wasting Time
Six Minute Century – Wasting Time (2013)
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
Had I have not known prior to writing that these guys were from the US, I would have pegged Texans Six Minute Century down as hailing from Italy. Their blend of progressive power metal certainly takes some cues from the green, white and red, although upon further reflection, some of the crunchier elements definitely carry that US magic.
Once upon a time, these guys were known as Mystic Cross, having been active since 1993 (and releasing two albums under that moniker), and from what I gather, they used to play a softer brand of progressive metal. Wasting Time is their second full-length as Six Minute Century, and whilst I haven’t heard any of their prior works, Wasting Time showcases a mature band playing the style of music they want, with zero in the way of pretension or trend following – certainly something I’d deem commendable.
There are two elements in particular that I really like about Wasting Time, the first of which is singer Chuck Williams. This guy has a cracking set of pipes, and sounds to me like a blend of John Arch and Roberto “Ramon” Messina (Secret Sphere, Alkemyst). His style comes across as a union of the US and Italian sides of the genre, and while his vocal lines might not always be bang on the money, he’s always endearing. The second thing which particularly stands out to me is the bass guitar. A lot of power metal acts are guilty of burying the bass in the mix, so it’s great to see Six Minute Century treating the instrument with the respect it deserves – without taking the arpeggiated flurry approach of Hibria and such. In places, it gives the more technical elements of Wasting Time a Spiral Architect-like feel, and in others accentuates the riffs, fleshing everything out that little bit more.
Whilst I’ve singled out the vocals and bass as highlights here on Wasting Time, it would be negligent not to point out the drums and guitars. I think Mikey Lewis’ performance (Helstar) strikes a good balance between keeping a solid, head-banging beat and the more technical Richard Christy style fills and kicks approach, which a lot of the US guys seem to utilize. Don LaFon’s guitar work is well done across the board, with plenty of solid riffs and some cool solos.
If there’s anywhere I feel Six Minute Century goes wrong, I’d have to say it’s the albums length, coupled with the lack of standout tracks. If your album is over an hour long, I feel there has to be some kind of centerpiece, as well as some book-ending fireworks. While all the material is undoubtedly solid, there isn’t anything that sticks in my head after the album has finished. On the whole though, Wasting Time is good and – I’ve been dying to do this the whole review – isn’t a waste of your time. Definitely worth checking out for progressive and power metal fans, particularly if you’re really into proggy US bands. Not necessarily an album to drop what you’re doing and run out and buy, but certainly worth a listen. Check it out.
3.0 // 5