Artist: Time Requiem
'Optical Illusion' is the bands third release to date and is without a doubt one of their best. With the inclusion of former Malmsteen vocalist Goran Edman, Time Requiem have found a sound that mixes neo-classical metal with a mainstream style vocalist, the resulting album is a masterpiece.
It may have only taken Richard Andersson two months to complete, but this nine track album rates as one of the best progressive metal album of the year so far.
Opening up with ‘Sin To Sin’ with its gentle opening, before the full on keyboard assault, then the majestic vocals of Edman really get the album off to a fantastic start.
The quality continues with ‘The Talisman’. Unlike the opener this track goes straight for the jugular from the off, with the mystic keyboards of Andersson once again reigning supreme on the track, while Jorg Andrews hammers out a relentless back-beat on the drums.
The title track ‘Optical Illusion’ is another masterpiece of song writing by Andersson, as brings out the best in Edman’s vocals and this mixed with the relentless rhythm section, make this track one of the most outstanding pieces of progressive metal I’ve heard in quite a while.
It would take something special to follow the last track, but once again Andersson has pulled out all the stops on the album. ‘The Ashen Soul’ breaks away from the mid tempo feel of the album and races away leaving behind the shackles of the progressive sound for an altogether harder edged sound, which breaks up the album well.
After the ravages of ‘The Ashen Soul’ things slow down a bit with ‘Ocean Wings’. A more serene song that brings back that progressive feel. Another great track all the same.
‘Creation In Time’ starts off with some Phantom of the Opera-esque keyboards, before the guitar comes in then the supreme vocals of Edman. This track builds into a neo-classical metal tour de force.
The melodic rock road is hit upon with ‘Miracle Man’ with Edman doing what he does best. After the trip down melodic street it's time turn back up the progressive road with the excellent ‘Sphere Of Fantasy’, with its powering drums and bass, this rates as one of my favourite tracks on the album.
I can’t praise this album enough. If you’re a fan of any sort of progressive metal then this album is definitely for you. If you can't find a track that doesn’t fill you with joy then your dead inside my friend.
1. Sin to Sin
2. The Talisman
3. Optical Illusion
4. The Ashen Soul
5. Ocean Wings
6. Creator in Time
7. Miracle Man
8. Sphere of Fantasy
9. Despair and Pain
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