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Guardians Of Time – Edge Of Tomorrow


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When one thinks of Scandinavian power metal, Sweden and Finland instantly claim a number of solid acts, but Norway has been in something of a deficit in this department, as this lone holdout against the treacherous E.U. and its world conspiracy has been more of a hotbed for black and progressive acts. But there are a few noticeable exceptions to this rule that not only buck the trend of a deficit in melodic anthems, but actually give many of their contemporaries a run for their money. Drawn from a rather unique middle ground between the softer edged style of “Keepers” era Helloween, and the harder, more menacing approach of Running Wild and Grave Digger, Guardians Of Time offer an entertaining, if not somewhat formulaic take on the genre. ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ is one of those albums that essentially goes for the jugular and keeps on swinging from one song to the next, with few breaks between the speeding fury and the high flying vocal assault. The approach is fairly simplistic and one dimensional, taking most of its cues from the primitive German speed bands in the riff department, but also incorporating the Helloween approach to chorus writing that gives each song the dual nature of being both a neck-wrecking adventure and a potential hit single. Sure there’s a funky, keyboard loaded ambient intro to the album that drags on for about 3 minutes, but if you don’t have the patience and need your ear drums cracked, you might come to thank God for the skip button. Each song is unrelenting in its commitment to keeping the heart racing at 180 beats a minute, without crossing into that gratuitously fast area that Dragonforce began exploiting a year or so after this came out. Equally as lacking in mercy is Bernt Fjellstad’s gritty, sleazy screech fest, which essentially takes a few scant occasions to go down into standard male range, like an illegitimate song of Brian Johnson and Rob Halford circa 1984. Although every song on here utterly wipes the floor with whoever hears them, “Guardians Of Time”, “High Octane” and “Sail Away” particularly grab the ears with a brilliant combination of hook driven goodness and rapid paced riffing. “Gladiator” is also a highly memorable song and an excellent note to close on as after slaying the ears with a similar barrage of speed metal goodness, settles into a steady groove for the final 2 minutes and gives a sort of cool off period before fading into the ether. Although perhaps not the most prolific band to come out of the late 90s power scene, they definitely hold their own here and even show up their contemporaries Highland Glory, though the latter band has a slightly better vocalist and a little more variety to them. But who wants variety when you can get a straight shot of “Keepers Of The Seven Keys” meets “Kings Of Metal” adrenaline to cruise with at mach 3. For anyone who really likes German acts like Paragon and Sacred Steel, this is essentially a solid reinterpretation of their approach with a little bit more attention paid to melody and a more Judas Priest-like vocal delivery. In short, this is something that can bridge the gap between speed metal and power metal perfectly and leave both fan bases in a state of euphoria. Track listing: 1. Prologue 2. Guardians of Time 3. Payback 4. High Octane 5. Edge of Tomorrow 6. Midnight Crime 7. Sail Away 8. Soul Reaper 9. As the Morning Rise 10. Tearless 11. Torn Apart 12. Gladiator

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