Custard - Wheels Of Time
Mausoleum Records
Power / Speed Metal
11 songs (48'20)
Release year: 2005
Custard, Mausoleum Records
Reviewed by Marty
Wheels Of Time is this German based band's latest album and only the second release to feature their current vocalist Guido Brieke. His first appearance was on Custard's last album, For My King, an album that was well received and heralded as a great power/true metal album by many in the music press. Initially starting out as a thrash metal band, the revolving door of members coming into and out of the band was a constant distraction and would prove to be a deterrent to the band's career. Moving more into a melodic power metal vein with their last album and continuing with Wheels Of Time, Custard now has a stable line-up and has finally found a comfortable place to exist albeit in the over-populated power metal genre.

After the obligatory short epic instrumental album opener, things get very busy with the title track Wheels Of Time. With wild and very fast pull-off riffs mixed with slicing thick power chords, their sound is a throwback to the glory days of the inception of speed / power metal (i.e. Helloween's Walls Of Jericho). Guido Brieke has a higher pitched Michael Kiske type of voice but doesn't quite have the same strength as the aforementioned leather-lunged metal icon. Comparisons can also be made to Gamma Ray especially with Inner Void, a track that's wild and speedy with pummelling heavy drums. More in the Lost Horizon power metal vein, this one's very catchy vocal-wise and has some great instrumental breaks. If you like the thick, huge up-front-in-the-mix guitar sound of Accept, then you'll love the guitar sound of Custard. Harmony lead guitar sections are sprinkled throughout many of the tracks and unlike many other power metal bands, Custard rarely goes for the soaring and hugely melodic chorus approach. Driving energy and power seem to be first and foremost in their song writing although the melodic vocal edge still makes appearances especially on the Helloween flavored One Step Too Far. The big thematic riffs and speedy muted guitar also brings the sound of their fellow countrymen to mind. Other tracks to feature more prominent Freedom Call like chorus sections include Sunrise, with it's speedy but more traditional power metal and Shine On; a mix of acoustic and heavier passages that speeds up and uses vocal refrains from Sunrise. With the tasty lead guitar harmony fills and Guido's vocals, these two tracks are definite album highlights. The rest of the album never really strays too much from speedy and somewhat reckless power metal and is a real feast for the ears if you're a guitar fanatic. Production-wise, the albums a bit thin with the drums and bass not really being solid enough but the guitars just roar with power.

There's really some great material on this album but overall, it needs a little more variety in the styles and arrangements of the songs. A few more standout tracks like Inner Void, One Step Too Far and the duo of Sunrise and Shine On and this album would've scored much higher. Certainly not an outstanding album, it doesn't really offer anything we all haven't already heard many times before. However, it's still a decent power metal album and one that fans of the genre are sure to like.

Killing Songs :
Wheels Of Time, Inner Void, One Step Too Far, Sunrise and Shine On
Marty quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Custard that we have reviewed:
Custard - For My King reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
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