Released: 2004, Regain Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Earlier this year came a live album from Time Requiem taken from the 3 shows they did on the Japan 2003 tour in support of their debut. Now it’s time for the second studio album by this neo-classical metal band led by keyboardist Richard Andersson. Once again there have been some changes in the line-up. The excellent drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane) and the demon bass player Dick Lövgren has left and are replaced by the rhythm-section from The Flower Kings - Jonas Reingold on bass (who also produced and played in numerous hard rock bands) and Zoltan Czörsz on drums. Zoltan also has played on Richard’s solo album entitled Richard Andersson’s Space Odyssey.
Richard has returned to Jonas’ studio, Reingold Studios, in Malmö Sweden to record the album. There is where he also recorded the debut and the solo album. Richard also did the mixing in Jonas’ studio and because of the lack of mixing equipment it sounds a bit thin. The mixing is not to be compared with the debut, which was really good and was mixed in Studio Fredman in Göteborg, Sweden by Fredrik Nordström.
As usual, the album is produced by Richard and Jonas and the recordings were done at the end of 2003. Richard has written all of the music and lyrics plus all of the music arrangements. Richard has written 7 of the 8 songs where 1 is a cover of J.S Bach’s “BACH PRELUDE VARIATION”, which is only 45 seconds of Richard’s keyboard playing. Richard likes to have some totally instrumental tracks on every record and so it’s also on this one.
As mentioned, Time Requiem plays neo-classical metal which is characterized as a very complicated and technical music form. With plenty of tempo changes, all of the music throughout the album circles around Richard’s keyboard playing. There are also a lot of pure instrumental parts where Magnus and Richard get to show off. I would say that this band can be counted into the absolute elite in their genre and there’s probably no one, or few bands, that can beat them.
I’ve always liked what Richard has done in Majestic and Time Requiem but according to Richard he wasn’t happy with Majestic’s music. He wanted to take Majectic to another dimension, that’s why he formed Time Requiem….but I’m sorry to say that he’s failed with renewing his music on this second album.
There are a lot of negative things with this album like Richard once again doing it all by himself. As such, it sounds just like it has on every album he’s ever released. There’s no ‘spark’ in the material or the music this time so maybe it’s time to give the other guys in the band some artistic freedom to write material? The constant member changes have to stop. A steady line up could do wonders to the band. The loss of Mr. Wildoer on drums feels to big and Mr. Czörsz can’t fill his shoes. Mr. Wildoer was both technical and fast - something that Mr. Czörsz is not (he should stick with playing progressive rock). Apollo, the singer, can do much better than this and it’s his weakest effort I’ve heard. One positive thing is Mr. Reingold. He is clearly a worthy replacement to Mr. Lövgren with his skillful bass playing. He is one of the best bass players in Sweden today.
Maybe the band would do well by getting out on the road and playing live. They have only done 5 shows so far and that was on the debut. It wouldn’t hurt to do some support for the band. It also looks like they haven’t put too much work on the booklet either. It’s one of the ugliest I’ve seen for a long time - it doesn’t reflect the music at all. This may be neo-classical metal, but, as I said earlier, Richard keeps doing the same album over and over again. He cannot simply take this any further. The only positive thing about the album is the well-played music but besides that, this album is a big disappointment. I recommend the debut with Time Requiem instead.
Richard is currently working on Space Odyssey 2 and “Richard Andersson – The Collection” which is re-recordings of his old material from Majestic, Time Requiem and Space Odyssey. No tour dates with the band are set so far.