Recorded at Outta Space Studio, Birmingham, England and Dragon’s Lair Studio, California. Mixed in Madhat Studio, Wolverhampton, England. Produced and engineered by Steve Slater and Karl Wilcox. Mixed by Mark Stewart with Steve Slater and Karl Wilcox. Released on Majestic Rock Records, 2006.
First off, I’m just going to ignore the dodgy spelling of ‘requiem’—we’ll just agree to let that one go. They were originally spelt correctly, when the band formed in 1979 until they split in 1984.
Time Will Tell is the band’s first full length album and I’ll be honest I wasn’t entirely hopeful when I stuck it in my CD player. But, you know what, it’s not bad at all. I mean, it’s not brilliant, it’s not exactly original, but it’s not bad.
I was a bit dubious when I read on Encyclopaedia Metallum that they were categorised as ‘heavy metal’. That seemed a bit generic to me. But nope! That’s exactly what they are. There are discernible elements of a lot of classic metal bands in this album: Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Diamond Head (of course), and even Swedish doomsters Candlemass.
The album opens with an organ, that actually put me in mind that this might end up sounding like a Morbid Angel album. But soon the keyboard pads out a strings chord and the guitars crunch in. It’s classic NWOBHM-style metal.
“Wildfire” (track 2) is another slow starter that builds into a Dio-style track.
“Sinners” (track 3) has yet another slow beginning, not really getting going until about 45 seconds. And then it’s more or less a pastiche on Rainbow’s “Stargazer”, at least for the verses. So much so that I found myself unconsciously singing along using the Rainbow lyrics: “High noon, oh I’d sell my soul for water / Nine years worth of breakin’ my back / There’s no sun in the shadow of the wizard / See how he glides, why he’s lighter than air.”
The title track “Time will tell” (track 4) reminds me of the ballads of 80s Christian rock band Triumph.
“Werewolf” (track 5) is probably the best track on the album. It unsurprisingly has a very Diamond Head feel to it, with Brian Tatler guesting on it.
Track six is a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” where the band have totally made it their own. Gone is the heavy-hitting simplicity in favour of something that sounds like it’s taken from Iron Maiden’s Somewhere In Time (1986) sessions. I appreciate what they’ve done but it doesn’t really do it for me.
“Black death” (track 7) has a very doom feel that initially reminded me of Candlemass’s Nightfall (1987) album before it morphs into something a lot more mid-era Sabbath.
There are a couple of fairly generic heavy metal stompers before the album closes with “Sacrificial warrior” (track 10) that begins as a ballad before throwing off that cloak and revealing itself as a Helloween-style power ballad.
It’s a decent album this. The musicianship is solid, the production is well balanced, the songwriting is well… classic. There’s just not enough that’s new or innovative. The album rests very much on the laurels of a lot of other bands.
If I was in need of something distinctly NWOBHM and didn’t have any Dio, Rainbow or Deep Purple to hand then I’d certainly put it on. If it came on again through random play then I’d certainly not switch it off. Whether I’d go seek it out or not is another question. I’m not entirely sure I would. If they were playing live locally then I’d probably go see them: I think they could be fun.
Sadly, though, that’s really not enough to recommend them very strongly.
Review score: 65%