Soldiers of Time
With the year thus far already spewing forth new records from Enforcer, Black Trip (more on them in the coming weeks) and the likes, it is hardly surprising that we are presented with yet another slab of the old school from Sweden. While not boasting the same credentials as bands such as Dagger and the other aforementioned bands, Night has been around for about 4 years now, with their sophomore full length Soldiers of Time being released under Gaphals, the very same label that brought us Nocturnalia and Oblivious.
The moment Burning Fire’s vocals greeted me on Waiting for the Time, I already knew what to expect with his uncanny resemblance to that high pitch, wailing vocals of Enforcer‘s Olof. As soon as the album starts off proper, the similarities only become clearer, what with the twin guitar works of Midnight Proppen and Burning Fire and that old school attitude and vibe that the band carries with them. The influences of the band are clear, from the speedier style of bands like Judas Priest to the melody and harmonised twin-guitar attach of Iron Maiden and the modernity brought about by Enforcer, Skull Fist or White Wizzard. Songs like Above the Ground and the chugging riffs even remind me of the works of Gamma Ray, albeit with a less power metal vibe over here.
Unfortunately, unlike the much-celebrated Enforcer and Skull Fist, there is much room for growth for Night. The guitar work on Soldiers of Time though mostly rather spectacular and showcase the band’s influences, can be rather shoddy and sloppy at times, especially on the slower and more melodic leads, and one senses the slight hesitation (for whatever reasons) that the guitarists might have. Burning Fire’s vocals also has the tendency to get pretty annoying at times, and while there are moments where he brings about comparisons with Rob Halford, there are also moments where he goes into an unnecessary wail.
One of my pet peeves is the slow tapering off of tracks at the end, a personal tell-tale sign that the band has no idea how to end a track, and there are numerous such tracks on Soldiers of Time, often spoiling what would have been an enjoyable song, like on Waiting for the Time. On the other extreme end, tracks like Across the Ocean end abruptly, breaking the flow that the band has so nicely built up. Furthermore, Soldiers of Time would have benefitted from a more polished production quality, with the production resulting in a reduction of the overall impact of the band’s music.
That said though, Soldiers of Time is an album that would appeal to fans of the old school heavy metal revivalist bands such as Enforcer, Skull Fist or White Wizzard. And despite all the flaws that might have been pointed out, the potential in Night is still pretty obvious, leaving me eagerly awaiting their future releases.
1. Waiting for the Time
2. Across the Ocean
3. We’re Not Born to Walk Away
4. Above the Ground
5. Towards the Sky
6. Secret War
7. Kings and Queens
8. Ride On
11. Stars in the Sky