Edition: 60
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Timelord

01. Dawn of dissent
02. Aeons calling
03. Rebellion (Bonus track)
04. Sirens
05. The alchemist
06. Cult of the dead
So far, 2006 has been a joyous year for those who love quality power metal in the traditional style: the underground in good old US of A currently spits out a whole new generation of bands who pick up where the classic and more obscure acts from the eighties have left off. Just when you thought happy crappy symphonic speed singalongs and downtuned whatever-you-call-it-this-week fare (let’s not call it metal, people) had all but wiped out the original brand of US-metal, help – to quote the Little River Band - is on its way!
One of these promising bands are Timelord from Virginia, making themselves heard with the EP Dawn of dissent. Now don’t be put off by the slimlinecase CDR-format and colour copy-cover: the six tracks on offer here are stand-out technical metal in the vein of Toxik, early Steel Prophet, Vicious Rumors and Helstar, with a few (but not too many) European-metal influenced harmony vocals thrown in for good measure. And what’s more: these songs are on par with the classic stuff by the bands mentioned. The material on this disc, conceived as a prelude to the ‘official’ debut album Regeneration (due out later this year), has no pretentious soundscapes, no polishing of guitars at the edges or overlong intros/outros and protracted in-betweens to deter from the actual compositions.
Mainman in Timelord is former Forgotten Realm-member Matthew Aub, who handles lead and rhythm guitars as well as lead vocals, his crew consisting of Aaron Richert on second guitar, Joe Konczal on bass and drummer Rick Hodes. These four extremely apt musicians crank out the opening title track like it was 1987: Dawn of dissent counters a complex build-up with accessible harmonies, which produces intense power metal that by turns accelerates and plays it cool without ever losing intensity. Another thing that hits you is Matt’s vocal style, reminiscent of that of James Rivera, Rob Halford and Toxik’s first frontman Mike Sanders – aggressive and melodic at the same time, and full of energy.
This irresistible opener is followed by Aeons calling, a poisonous blend of Nosferatu-era Helstar and Forte’s Stranger than fiction, showing off intricate guitar arrangements and a brilliant chorus.
Short for breath? Tough shit, then, because the third song (actually the bonus track) Rebellion will send you reeling. Speed is the word, the solos of Aub and Richert inspire air guitar excess and headbanging frenzy, plus the chorus – again – is just killer.
Things only seemingly calm down with Sirens (an original, not a Savatage-cover), built up carefully and crowned once more with excellent vocallines and a chorus that sticks instantly. A main feature of the song is Rick Hodes’ proverbial hammering on the anvil. After this the band manages to even take things up a notch with the smasher The alchemist, highlighted by melodic parts and a midpace middle section that might remind the careful listener of lost gods Fifth Angel. And, obviously not content with closing the festivities just yet, Timelord turn out an instant classic with the last song on the EP, Cult of the dead. It’s a high-speed chase all the way, with both axemen shredding it up in solo spots like there’s no tomorrow. Whew! What was that?
In this day and age of overproduced music with a bland taste it’s not often you get to hear this type of power metal – let alone power metal that is so sharply arranged and executed. Aub’s vision of the Timelord-sound is precise: the band is either crossing over into overly thrash-like territory, nor adding sound effects and layers of overdubs. Riffs, basslines and drum patterns are well thought out, as are the many solos which, like the vocals, have a special kind of magic to them. This reviewer’s only concern is that Timelord, on future recordings, don’t overdo the vocal harmonies. The lyrics to the songs, by the way, are all part of a science fiction concept by Aub, to be played out in full on Regeneration.
If this overlong review sounds just a tad too euphoric to you, have a listen to the sample track Aeons calling on Timelord’s MySpace-page. Guaranteed you’ll order the EP straight away and be hooked to those tunes for the next couple of weeks after.


  Rating: 90 /100

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