TODAY FROM SAMMY1971´S ARCHIVES:FANTASTIC NEO-CLASSICAL POWER METAL FROM SWEDEN:
Studio Album, released in 2006
1. Sin To Sin (7:19)
2. The Talisman (5:24)
3. Optical Illusion (7:15)
4. The Ashen Soul (5:36)
5. Ocean Wings (6:45)
6. Creator In Time (5:23)
7. Miracle Man (6:05)
8. Sphere Of Fantasy (6:26)
Total Time: 49.59
Bonus track on Japanese release:
9. Despair And Pain
Richard Andersson - Keyboards
Göran Edman - Vocals
Andy Rose - Bass
Magnus Nilsson - Guitar
Jörg Andrews – Drums
Comments: Time Requiem's new CD, Optical Illusion, is going to remind the multitudes of the music made by a certain genius named Yngwie Malmsteen. The sound of Optical Illusion is neo classical, but it is also hyper as hell. The sheer speed at which these talented group of musicians play is almost ridiculous, and always brilliant. Throw in the fact that Goran Edman is the singer-who was the voice of arguably Malmsteen's best releases (Eclipse and Dragonfly)-and the comparisons compound.
Time Requiem is led by Richard Andersson, who you'll also know from Majestic and Space Odyssey. Seems he and his business partners had a bit of a falling out, so he told them to eat dirt and formed a new band. Your ears are the benefactor.
"Sin to Sin" starts off Optical Illusion, and you'll instantly be drawn in by Andersson's keys. But while keys are a driving force for all of the composition, this is highly technical neo classical metal that not just anyone can play. In fact, Andersson admits he had to find a new bass player because the music was extremely difficult to play, and in comes Andy Rose (In Flames, Arch Enemy) to pummel the hell out of you. Hearing Goran Edman sing in his element is the real treat here, though. His greatest exposure was clearly when he fronted Malmsteen's circus, and Edman sounds better today then he ever did. "Sin to Sin" has so many layers, grooves, and tempo changes, it's a practice in corralling chaos.
Optical Illusion only has eight songs, but it's 50 minutes long. "Talisman" is one of two sub-six minute tracks. This has one of the catchier choruses, and Andersson's keys are all over the track. It's strange hearing a keyboard solo in place of a guitar solo, but these extended musical passages create the trademark Time Requiem sound.
Slowing it down for the ladies, "Ocean Wings" begins as an acoustic ballad. Edman amazes again. This song proves that you don't have to play at almost unbelievable speeds in order to write a good song. Of course, they crank things up again, leaving the ballad in their wake. This would be the only knock on the band, because at times it feels like you are in the midst of a live jam session instead of listening to a studio CD.
"Miracle Man" seems like a more straightforward composition, letting the riff carry you along instead of trying to latch onto the intricate keys. It really has a more classic rock feel, sort of funky, and well, the Malmsteen comparisons raise their head again. You'll also hear a little Styx or Kansas as the progressive side of the song takes over. All in all, it's just a damn good song.
They end things how you'd imagine, a ripping keyboard frenzy on "Sphere of Fantasy." Edman puts a palpable edge to his voice, pouring on the attitude, and the rhythm section of Rose and drummer Jorg Andrews are put to the test and not found wanting. Heavy, hard, fast as hell, it's a pleasure hearing this kind of talent across the board.
Time Requiem's new release needs to be in your stereo, IPod or 8-track player, respectively, if you are any kind of fan of technical neo classical music. You'll have to expect the keys to take a lot of the spotlight from the guitars. While this isn't the easiest music to digest, it's worth whatever effort it takes. It's also one of the best vocal recordings of the year, so fans of Edman are going to go through the roof when they hear this one. Check out Optical Illusion today.