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Definitely a strange album from Helloween. I don’t know what happened with the incredible anthems these guys prepare on each album. The songs are no as remarkable as in other albums, even though this doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. I really prefer the predecessor (Master of the Rings) or the successor (Better Than Raw) of this album, but in the end it has some nice tunes on each song and good ideas on the solos and melodies. Let’s talk about these strong aspects from The Time of the Oath.
There are two songs on this album that have the typical trademark from the pumpkins: We Burn and Power, the only problem I find is that they’re too short hahaha, but it seems that they work specially good live because of their sticky and powerful choruses (We Burn) or the leading riff (Power). Maybe the strongest song of the whole album would be Before the War, I really like this track, the bass performance is impressive and the solo section is the highlight of the song. Wake Up the Mountain and A Million to One are good and in a very “sing along” style, but don’t have anything special to mention. The rock ballads are good enough (Forever and One and If I Knew) and maybe the best of the whole Helloween career just as In the Middle of a Heartbeat from Master of…, but remember that Helloween is not very good with ballads. Anything My Mama Don’t Like is the Rock & Roll song of the album: the riff, the lyrics… there’s always one on all the Helloween albums from the Deris era. Mission Motherland is awesome and has a lot of flawless interpretations: the vocals, the slapping bass section, and of course some progressive drums and guitar riffs mixed with the galloping metal main riff. A long song, but you won’t notice it; it’s very well driven only a step below the superior Revelation from the Better Than Raw album. Finally comes The Time of the Oath, a little bit long and repetitive, but strong enough as all the Grapow’s contributions to this band, without mentioning that the solos for this one are among the best of the album.
The Time of the Oath is an album to be heard because everyone has different points of view about its importance in the pumpkin history. I must say that in my opinion every album from any band is important. But if you want to hear to the best from Helloween look after Better Than Raw or Master of the Rings, or maybe you must listen to anything from the Keepers’ era (when the real history began!). Anyway, is a good choice to complete your Power Metal collection.