13.03.2004

  1. Ancient Voice (Intro)
2. Eternal Sinner
3. Believe
4. Fear Of A Child
5. The Pages I Never Wrote
6. Free Land
7. Blind Justice
8. YMD
9. Time For Expiation

 

  Max Aguzzi - Vocals and Guitar
Gae Amodio - Bass
Alex Valdambrini - Keyboards
Raf Condemi - Drums

  "Time for Expiation"               

preview- review by Boris "Azrael" Witta ___               


First of all I have to say that I'm not the biggest Speed Melodic Power Metal Fan, but nevertheless, I really enjoyed listening to "Time For Expiation". Why? Well, I think the Italian quartet has a great variable style. On their second album, there's every kind of songs that are possible in Power Metal : of course Speed-Crusher with dominating virtuous keyboards, epic and bombastic hymns with great choirs and soft and melancholic ballads. 

In every single song, there is a lot of pathos and Max Aguzzi never sings too high, his voice is voluminous, warm and original. In my opinion, the biggest influence of Dragonhammer is Stratovarius, principally in the way Alex Valdambrini often plays his keys. There are also some progressive elements, but in a good relation to the straight parts. Mostly, the keyboards make the melodies and the guitar just lays the sound wall, beside some very expressive solos which fit perfect to the respective song. 

There's just one problem : sometimes the keyboards are just too cheesy and you feel like you heard it already a lot of times before, and because the keyboards are very massive, some songs become a bit too soft.  But most of the songs are really good, like the opener Eternal Sinner, which is already the first highlight. With pushing drums, a sing-along chorus and a hard-riffing guitar, supported by a great melody from the keys, it's a Melodic-Speed-Classic par excellence which kicks ass ! In the same way is Fear A Child, also fast and with a guitar-keyboard-solo, a part where the musicians show their ability. Between these two speeders is Believe, which starts very fast with frantic keys and a melancholic atmosphere, but Believe has a chorus which is not very spectacular and at the end of the song much too long.  

The Pages I Never Wrote is the perfect soundtrack to spend some romantic and intimate time with your girl- or boyfriend. It starts with a piano and turns into a slow, not too hard song, full of emotions, a Gothic part in the middle and perfect vocals. Just very beautiful ! 

The next one, Free Land, is a great midtempo hymn, and Max sings like a god ! In this song, guitar and keys harmonize perfect. In the middle of the song is a long solo part, first the piano, then the guitar, full of feelings and emotions. Then Free Land turns into Speed before the fantastic chorus finishes the song. This variability makes Free Land one of the best songs on "Time For Expiation".

 Blind Justice is dominated by some really heavy guitars, and once more Dragonhammer show their talent to write catchy choruses and great melodies. Just the keys during the bridge are not very innovative, but anyway, Blind Justice is another good song. 

YMD has a dark atmosphere during the verses, but the chorus is very happy. The beginning of the song sounds a bit like Angel Dust, and in the middle of YMD is again a very, very virtuous guitar-keyboard solo. Max sings deeper as usual, the drums make a lot of pressure, and the uptempo of the song makes it one of the hardest on the album. 

The last track is the titletrack, and it's again a real highlight. Every time in midtempo, with the best chorus on "Time For Expiation", another great guitar solo, pounding drums and atmospheric keys, it's one of my favourites. Max's vocals are once again unbelievable. Fantastic ! 

At the end, I can give you the advice to listen more than once to "Time For Expiation", then this album grows with every time !

Rating: 8/10  

 

Boris Witta  

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