Release DetailsLABEL Regain
RELEASED ON 8/2/2004
The Inner Circle of Reality
posted on 9/2004 By:
Well here is a change of pace from my recent listening pleasures, which has been basically death metal, melodic death, and death metal. I don’t know if this is a welcomed change or not, but it’s something different. Awhile back I reviewed the first Time Requiem album and found it to be a rather exciting prog/power album that had fairly heavy moments nestled among an abundance of keyboard twiddling. I was hoping for more of the same with their sophomore effort, The Inner Circle of Reality, but unfortunately, this album lacks the balls that the last one had. This isn’t necessarily a bad development, but it depends on what you desire in your prog/power metal.
The end result strongly reminds me of a Symphony X album, minus the few hard songs that find their way into a typical SX record. Time Requiem’s vocalist Apollo Papathanasio’s timber and cadence is enough like that of Russell Allen to raise an eyebrow on first listen, while some of Magnus Nord’s (great name!) guitarwork is reminiscent of Michael Romeo’s playing. The drumming is pretty standard power/speed metal drumming – simple and fast. But even a cursory listen proves that this band is purely a Richard Andersson project. Andersson (Space Odyssey - which I also reviewed, Majestic) is a classically-trained keyboard wizard, and while his keys are not totally overwhelming, they are ever-present, either as atmosphere or in the form of finger-blurring solos. As with most worthwhile prog metal, the production is crisp as the Autumn morning air
The Inner Circle of Reality starts off promisingly enough with “Reflections”, a fast-paced number with an epic finale. Next up is the title track, clocking in at a lengthy 11:40, including a three-minute jam by Andersson. For the most part, they do a fine job of keeping the song “song-like”, without getting carried away in the noodling. “Attar of Roses” steps up the heaviness like I was hoping for, even if it doesn’t stack up to songs like “Milagro’s Charm” or “Brutal Mentor” from the debut album. “Hidden Memories” reminds me a bit of the first Andromeda album, and this is a good thing.
By now, most of you should be able to imagine what this album from Time Requiem sounds like. Take a neo-classical, prog/power metal framework, and then add in top-notch musicians, allowing them to get carried away at times, and smother everything in even more keyboards. I was hoping for an album with a bit harder edge, but even without that, the songwriting remains quite capable. There is certainly an audience that will crave this release, even though I will stick to their debut for my Andersson fix.
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