Sands of Time – An inventive intro, with a very resonant natural soundscape forming the backdrop, closely followed by a gentle acoustic guitar and choir, forming a meditative chant like sound. Highly unique opening.
A New Beginning – Opening with some classic power riffs and vocals, accompanied by some well blended drum beats, steadily increasing in power and strength, along with the vocals. Whilst some of the percussion sounds slightly tinny and the overall melody’s perhaps a tad melancholy, its overall, an okay track. Unintrusive and not quite hitting a chord with me, it nevertheless, passes the listenability test.
Let it Go, featuring Blaze Bayley – Now, this one more than compensates, with its hard-hitting drum intro! Featuring Blaze Bayley on vocals, it carries the distinctive sound of a Blaze song. However, I have to say Blaze doesn’t appear to be on top form here. This track is slightly less dour in feel and atmosphere, heightening the mood towards the midsection, with some tasty riffs and slightly more enthused vocals. Somehow, the whole track holds something of a ghostly tone. Still like those riffs, though).
The Barbarian – Enjoyed those opening riffs. Definitely more life here). Some fabulous and very fitting tribal vocals! Still, generally speaking, the vocals could do with a bit more energy and power injecting into them. It does have a stronger feel and more energised pace, throughout and the instrumentals are of an impressive quality. The life force seems to grow in momentum, creating some very powerful visual imagery. It certainly makes good use of time. Possibly room for a bit more invention towards the end, as it did drag a bit at that point, but otherwise, a good effort.
Trail of Sorrow – Ooh, this intro’s different again, with an evil laugh, with more humour than evil and a steady pace, soon revealing a very similar sounding riff to previous tracks. For some reason, I’m imagining a ghost train inside a circus ring, with an insane clown, grinning maniacally! Oh hang on, what’s going on in the midsection? We have a sudden slowing of pace and change to briefly eerier vocals, before returning to the tortured sound. Not sure if it’s meant to be haunting, but I get the impression that if so, then it’s intended as humourously haunting. Hmm…
Do or Die – Like the rain and thunder opening here. Oh and the opening vocals are somewhat harder now. On the way to a nice power scream there). Nice guitar riffs and a higher vibe, to some extent. Better melodies and a much lighter feel. The whole track seems more impassioned and the drum beats take full advantage of the chance to inject some hardness and heaviness. Good closing drum beat).
Far Away – Oh, again, a change to a lovely gentle acoustic intro, with an acoustic vocal accompaniment. Works well, emphasising the segue into a nice heavy riff and drum section well. Some good cohesion going on here. The backing vocals blend well together and everything just complements each other. Great riffs in the middle, there. Liking the progression of the guitar sections a lot. Ah and even a very well placed power scream). Great closing and this is probably my favourite. Enjoyed the fade-out too.
Chase the Dragon – Yes, definitely heating up as this one opens. Lots of energy in this one. I actually got so into this track, I started singing along to it – a sure sign that a song works! Lots of great guitar work in here. So good, as are the drum sections, that I’m now drumming along and about to wreck yet another pen. This is obviously one of my favourites too.
Shattered Lives – Another good opening. I’m definitely liking the noticeable variety in each intro. Aha, I hear very slight echoes of Judas Priest, just there! This album definitely improves as it progresses. Some very nice drum fills towards the midsection. Plenty of energised riffs to be found here. Increasing the pace and ending on another energised riff. Good track.
Point of No Return – Gets straight in there, with the most confident riffs and rolls yet. The vocals take on that spooky sense again. A genuinely haunting song, with a spoken word section, befitting the style of the song and its title. Some nice smooth, svelte guitar melodies I’m liking lots.
Overall – a good piece of work, if a little samey in places. However, one of its highlights for me is its diverse intros and guitar riffs. The whole album holds a slight haunting effect, but comes into its own when utilising power/speed modalities. An album with greater potential and IMHO, the vocals have a tendency to sound a bit tortured and could do with losing that aspect and focusing more on power style vocals, for which there is definitely obvious capacity and which would bring a fresher flavour to the album. On the whole, though, good album. 8 out of 10.