Drive
Characters in Time


4.0
excellent

Review

by RunOfTheMill USER (8 Reviews)
February 19th, 2015 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


Characters in Time is a great example American power metal album from the late 80s. Full of tasty riffs, an operatic vocal performance and a healthy dose of shredding, the band shines through with its ability to make just about every song on this album feel “epic” and exhilarating. An added bonus are the subtle progressive sections that add flavor and variety to the songs. Apart from a few, none of the tracks stick with the same rhythm or chords. Prime examples are “Kamikaze”, which breaks towards the end of the song to build up an explosive outro, and “Heroes Road”, which doesn’t hesitate to explore slower more melancholic territory. Other songs stick to what works, such as “The Entity” which revolves around one radical cyclic riff.

The album, however, is not void of flaws. There are a few missteps in the songwriting, as a few filler tracks are present. The attitude-abundant “Snake Eyes” frankly sounds too much like commercial hard rock, perhaps an attempt to hit some radio airwaves. The most annoying track is “Eternal Mercenary”, which tries a little too hard to achieve that epic feel and ends up sounding disjointed with an off-putting (and unfinished?) chorus, where the vocalist yells an extended “Eternal Mercenar-“ without that final vowel.

In another regard, Characters in Time is undoubtedly a product of the times and borrows from many popular influences. Vocalist David Taylor really has that late 80s high-pitched vocal flare, but there is no denying that he really sounds like a Geoff Tate impersonator. Instrumentally, nothing on this album hadn’t already been done by other bands. Album-closer “I Need the Night” could have easily been written by Dio. Mainstream media-bashing “Sinister Minister” sounds like a Toxik song. This shouldn’t discourage anyone from listening to the album as fans of Queenryche, Iron Maiden, Fates Warning etc. would surely enjoy it. It is nonetheless important to note that Drive is not the most original of bands.

Overall, Characters in Time showcases a lot of talent from a small band from Texas. Though they had a penchant for writing songs that were heavily influenced by top metal acts of the time, Drive are metal band and they did a fine job at it with this album.

David Taylor - vocals (R.I.P. 2009)
Rick Chavez - guitars (R.I.P. 2017)
Mercy Valdez - guitars
Michael Anthony Guerrero - bass
Valentine San Miguel - drums




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user ratings (7)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
RunOfTheMill
February 19th 2015


4096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sup, 7th review. Been over a year since my last one, but I had started this one a while back and only got around to finishing it now.

I feel as though I criticized it a little too much for the rating I gave, but in any case y'all can tell me what you think :]

Kamikaze: http://youtu.be/C9w-VAzc_sI

Heroes Road: http://youtu.be/BMyJXEiqKAQ

The Entity: http://youtu.be/BtF3nC5tew8

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2015


8807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, pos.



Awesome album.

Digging: Volshebnik - To Inflame the Path to Perdition

RunOfTheMill
February 19th 2015


4096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks :]



indeed sweet album

KILL
October 30th 2015


81241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

checkin hard

RunOfTheMill
October 31st 2015


4096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Rules m/

Casavir
October 12th 2018


4224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Superb album.

sonictheplumber
October 12th 2018


11064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gota check later

Casavir
October 12th 2018


4224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some of the songwriting on this is unreal.



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