Guardians of Time is back with their fifth full-length album and this one starts off heavier than usual thanks to an appearance from fellow Norwegian, Abbath. Listen below to this driving and melodic power metal.
Power metal is very hit or miss for me. If it’s going to be serious, it needs to be either epic or dark. If it’s going to be campy it better be silly as fuck. There’s this place in the middle that I’ll call the ‘power metal dweeb arena’. I’ll explain. Dweebs are nerds who aren’t totally aware of just how nerdy they are. When power metal nerds become power metal dweebs they lose some awareness and go a bit too far. This makes the typically epic cheese turn to cringe cheese. Guardians of Time are masters of dancing close to that line while still remaining in the epic category, in my opinion. Some of the anthems remind me of the over-the-top stuff you get with bands like Manowar, but heavier. They are talented enough to make all this work.
The solos are more melodic and less “in your face OMG I can play so fast!” In fact, some of the harmonic solos are my favorite parts of Tearing up the World.
I’ve mentioned anthems, and “Brothers of the North” is the perfect example on this album. I feel like I’m riding a demon horse across an epic, frost-covered battlefield. It’s epic cheese, but so easy to head-bang and sing along with.
Abbath isn’t the only cameo on this album; Tim “Ripper” Owens (most famously of Judas Priest) joins for “As I Burn”. Yeah, Tim can really sing, but so can Bernt Fjellestad. I may be crazy, but I may now have known Tim Owens was singing on this track if the marketing material hadn’t been slapping me in the eyes all day. Once you know, you can hear it. The range is there, the powerfully high scream is there, and the harmony is there. Check it out below.
Like most power metal, the production is 100% modern. This means clean digital sound from all the instruments, a touch of reverb (but not too much), etc. However, it also means some of the nuance is lost due to the loudness being cranked a bit too much. I’m not sure if that’s what this album is about anyway. For me, it’s great for high energy activities (working out, coding, throwing lawn furniture at mythical beasts after taking drugs, etc.)
This is not for the melancholic, introspective walks through the foggy woods. However, I’ll be re-visiting this whenever I’m in the mood for something that starts on a high note and doesn’t let up at all.
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