Time Requiem - The Inner Circle Of Reality
Regain Records
Neo-classical Progressive Metal
9 songs (54'08)
Release year: 0
Time Requiem, Regain Records
Reviewed by Marty
Richard Andersson and Time Requiem are back with the follow-up to their excellent debut album from 2002. Since that album, Richard has been involved with many projects mainly Richard Andersson's Space Odyssey. This new album, The Inner Circle Of Reality, pretty much continues where the debut left off. Time Requiem continues to impress with their very technical brand of progressive neo-classical metal, all the while maintaining attention to detail in their songwriting. Along with bands like Adagio, they're raising the bar for other bands showing how it is possible to combine technical, flashy playing and soloing with a great sound and great songs.

If you like the style of Yngwie Malmsteen's first three albums with it's Rainbow-ish songwriting style and flashy guitar and keyboard scale runs, then you'll drool over Time Requiem. They produce a heavy, fast and intense brand of heavy metal that has great vocals, courtesy of Apollo Panthanasio (Majestic, Meduza) and is not short on extended instrumental passages with dueling keyboards and guitars, very much like Yngwie's first Rising Force album. Some speedier power metal styled riffs can be found in some of their songs and extended organ and keyboard soloing brings back memories of the 70's and the grandiose styles of Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

This album really starts with a bang with 4 killer tracks. The speedy and fast Reflections, with it's extended instrumental sections leads into the title track, The Inner Circle Of Reality, by far the best track on the album. This song has it all from mid-tempo Rainbow style riffs and vocals, to speedy soloing by both guitar and keyboard. The quiet arpeggio keys for the outro top off one of the best prog metal tracks I've heard in a long time. It's a 10 minute epic that is a perfect blend of melody, heaviness and speedy technical soloing. Dreams Of Tomorrow is a more passionate and emotional song that has a Dream Theater technical heaviness to it, a great soaring vocal performance by Apollo and some of the best lead guitar/keyboard lead trade-offs that I've heard since Yngwie and Jens Johansson did battle on Trilogy Suite Op.5 from Yngwie's Trilogy album. In keeping with the Trilogy Suite Op.5 theme, the next track, Altar Of Roses has the same sort of intro. It breaks into a speedy and fast double bass riffing style and again, great vocals and lots of soloing abound. The band pulls off a big epic power ballad in the true Stratovarius tradition with Quest Of A Million Souls and some very Kansas Carry On Wayward Son like choppy rhythmic changes are heard with the track Hidden Memories. A big surprise is the cover of Abba's Voulez Vous. I believe this was recorded for an Abba tribute album that came out last year with other bands such as At Vance recording "heavy metal" versions of Abba songs. I've heard that album and the combination of the Abba style vocal melodies with speedy heavy metal music actually works quite well. Such is the case with Time Requiem's version of Voulez Vous. It's a solid speedy version that retains all of the original vocal harmonies and melodies and is executed brilliantly.

Recently, I've started to get turned off by excessive soloing and flashy showing off with some of the other prog metal acts but when the songs are this good, the wild frenzied soloing used at just the right moments works like magic. Prog metal acts trying to find just the right blend of technical flash and quality songwriting should study this album front to back. I loved the sound of Yngwie's first three albums and even though I continued to follow his career, I still think those three albums helped define a genre of metal that still has it's doors open for others to experiment with. Time Requiem kicks open that door in a big way and continues in the same tradition of Rising Force but with an even more modern and energetic sound. If you're a fan of this sort of prog metal, grab this one for sure. If excessive soloing and extended and very technical instrumental passages are not your thing, avoid this one at all costs......this one's for the purists only!!

Killing Songs :
Reflections, The Inner Circle Of Reality, Dreams Of Tomorrow, Altar Of Roses and Voulez Vous
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Alex quoted 63 / 100
Other albums by Time Requiem that we have reviewed:
Time Requiem - Optical Illusion reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Time Requiem - Time Requiem reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
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