Review Summary: The lyrics suck. Nothing else does, though.
In 2001, Richard Andersson renamed his project, Majestic
, to Time Requiem. The reason was because the group had reached a supposed dead end, and wished to change their musical style from the neo-classical metal heard on their first two releases, to a more progressive feel. Their self-titled debut finds itself partway in between neo-classical and progressive metal, taking elements from both and weaving them together expertly. Serving as a sort of transition album between the two styles, Time Requiem's self-titled debut is undoubtedly their strongest effort.
One of the issues with both neo-classical and progressive metal is that many artists do not show restraint, and simply enter a soulless state of technical, but uninteresting playing. This can be interesting at some times, just as a statement of how talented the musicians are, but it leaves the music itself with a stale taste, simply seeming to be a showcase for said talent. Fortunately, The composition of this album, while still highly technical and impressive, is emotional and feels well thought out, as to avoid this issue. Instances of the incredible keyboard playing abilities of Richard Andersson can be heard in tracks such as Visions of New Dawn
, in the bridge before the chorus. While quite fast, it still feels fitting in the music itself, rather than being out of place.
As mentioned, this album is somewhat of a transition piece for the band. As this was their first effort playing in a style quite different from their original form, some influences of neo-classical are still present, but the progressive edge is still predominant. Tracks such as the aptly named Grand Opus
lean more towards the neo-classical side of the spectrum, with classical compositions transcribed into the song itself, and the overall feeling of the track invokes elegance and beauty. On the other side of things we have the instrumental Brutal Mentor
, which is 6 minutes straight of Andersson showcasing nothing more than pure unadulterated speed and technicality, leaning more towards the progressive edge. Tracks such as Milagros Charm
fall in the middle, expertly blending elements of both extremes in a manner which is quite impressive and enjoyable.
An issue which has always been present in songs written by Richard Andersson has been the lyrics. While more tolerable in his earlier works, many of the lyrics found in Time Requiem songs are things that seem poetic, but are pure nonsense. Take this excerpt from the aforementioned Milagros Charm
"Now is the time and you might be walking on forever
Don't be the one with faking animals in charge
It's for real waiting for someone
who can steer this ship together
This is the everlasting soul of fortune eyes."
It seems quite eloquent, but upon analyzing it in depth, it is simply meaningless. Perhaps many days of analysis and philosophical pondering would reveal a more meaningful message that is far too esoteric for the average human to find, but most likely, the lyrics were simply written with words that sound cool.
Other than this, Time Requiem's debut is extremely well put together. If you don't search for a great meaning in the lyrics, you will hear the best sides of both neo-classical and progressive metal, with the negative attributes all but left behind.
Visions of New Dawn