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Helloween: The Time Of The Oath-Expanded Edition (remaster)

Helloween return for their 2nd album with new singer Andi Deris & drummer Uli Kusch on 1996's The Time of the Oath, a concept album focusing on the predictions of Nostradamus as the 20th century was soon coming to a close. After the success of Master of the Rings, Helloween upped the heaviness on this record, bringing plenty of speedy, crunchy rockers to the table, and throwing in heaping amounts of their trademark dual guitar magic. While the vocals of Deris sound especially strong throughout The Time of the Oath, it's the shredding yet tasty solo work of both Michael Weikath and Roland Grapow who steal the show here. With a return to the type of six-string arrangements that were so prevalent on the classic Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, as well as their Walls of Jericho release, the two axe-slingers are on the top of their game here. Tracks like "We Burn", "Steel Tormentor", "Wake Up the Mountain", and "Power" feature plenty of speedy riffs and melodic solos, in many cases the two guitarists weaving blazing neo-classical runs around each other in dramatic fashion.

Deris shows his emotional side on the heart tugging ballad "Forever and One (Neverland)", a real "raise your lighter" arena rock tune, while he shows that he can certainly handle the furious power metal burners like "Before the War" and "Kings Will Be Kings", complete with plenty of nimble drum work from Kusch. Prog fans will love the epic "Mission Motherland", a song that really packs a punch, with plenty of raging riffs, keyboards, and complex arrangements. The title track is a change of pace for the band, more of a doomy vibe that what we are used to hearing from the band, plus a little touch of Rainbow Rising type medieval metal. For pure catchy metal with a great hook, check out the chugging "A Million to One", with Deris throwing in a great vocal that drives the song to anthem status.

As good if not slightly better than Master of the Rings which came before it, The Time of the Oath is looked upon very positively in the eyes of Helloween fans as one of their best albums of the 90's. This Sanctuary Records remaster delivers the goods once again, as you get a second CD with bonus tracks (eight this time around!), great sound, and a full booklet with lyrics, an essay, and interview with Weikath. What more can you ask for?

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. We Burn
2. Steel Tormentor
3. Wake Up The Mountain
4. Power
5. Forever And One (Neverland)
6. Before The War
7. A Million To One
8. Anything My Mama Don't Like
9. Kings Will Be Kings
10. Mission Motherland
11. If I Knew
12. The Time Of The Oath
Disc: 2
1. Still I Don't Know
2. Take It To The Limit
3. Electric Eye
4. Magnetic Fields
5. Rain
6. Walk Your Way
7. Light In The Sky
8. Time Goes By

Added: August 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Helloween Website
Hits: 3504
Language: english

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