Released: 2012, Pure Steel Records
I have been waiting for this one now for quite awhile, basically as soon as I got wind of it. My enthusiasm was further stoked when word got out that this would be in the style of early American power metal, with traces of Fifth Angel, Crimson Glory and Leather Wolf’s sound. TIME TO ROCK was released independently near the end of 2011, but Pure Steel Records wisely picked it up to give it a much deserved wider audience with a 2012 vinyl release. Knight Fury is something of a super group, composed of some talented geezers in Chris Sanders (ex Lizzie Borden, guitars), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth, bass), and journeyman drummer Ken Mary (ex Fifth Angel, Alice Cooper, House of Lords, etc.). Naturally, the danger here is that super groups so often fail to live up to the expectations. I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as I heard the opening track “Nothing Left” which does indeed deliver on the promise of bringing back elements of Fifth Angel’s sound.
TIME TO ROCK is a bit of a pretentious title for an album, and a band better deliver the goods to uphold such a statement. Knight Fury has confidently done just that. Singer William King is the perfect complement to the music, which is firmly rooted in 80s power and melodic metal. King puts his own stamp on the genre, with nods to the late Midnight of Crimson Glory, but he definitely has his own style. Knight Fury has proven the advantage that the veterans have over the revival bands on this release. The revival bands faithfully recapture vintage styles, and often surpass the original bands in pure technical skill. However, they often are missing that intangible “vibe” of the era that the veteran bands can summon, when they are doing it for the music and not as a pure money grab. Let’s be clear here, there are no modern leanings on TIME TO ROCK. From production, to themes, to the music itself, this album might as well have been recorded in 1986. Everybody in the band is at the top of their game, but Sanders propels things with inventive riffs and flawless and fiery playing through the entire album.
Every song is worthy, but look to “Forbidden”, “The Message”, and the Dio influenced title track for some of the best examples of the quality of this album. The only stylistic anomaly would be “Believe”, a highly enjoyable and upbeat semi- ballad, but a bit out of place with the rest of the album, more suited to a track on Fullforce’s ONE album. Bangers of a certain age (like me) gotta rejoice at this album though; this was the sound of power metal before Helloween and Hammerfall, heck before it was even called power metal. Strap in, throw on TIME TO ROCK, and take a time machine back to 1985-1986. I sincerely hope Knight Fury make this a full-time project and not a quick one-off. Recommended for fans of Crimson Glory, Fifth Angel, and early Queensryche.