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Phenomenal and nearly without fail - 95%

MarsDragoner, July 30th, 2015

Guardians of Time is a power metal band hailing from Norway and active since the mid-late 1990's. They released three albums prior to Rage and Fire and I have to admit that, at least for me, they seemed like your standard run-of-the-mill power metal band. I was wrong. Very wrong. Guardians of Time play a rather aggressive but also melodic kind of power metal. After listening to this album I realized how many generic and half-hearted albums and projects there are in the branch of power metal. Yes, it's that good.

The album starts with a nice and simple build-up in form of an orchestral arrangement which transitions smoothly into the real opening track Iron Heart; and this is where the real fun begins. Crunchy guitars, fast drums and an excellently aggressive production pave the way for Rage and Fire. When I heard that track for the first time I just couldn't stop smiling and nodding my head (let alone my restless leg) while collecting strange looks during the bus ride heading home.

It's difficult to categorize or compare this band. The dudes have fun and there's so much energy in this album. Their approach reminded me of 3 Inches of Blood sometimes but that's probably the ballsy production. Guardians of Time are much more melodic, obviously, and take more parts from the European style of power metal than from the American but they still achieve a certain rawness (if you want to use this word in power metal). The songs achieve a great atmosphere (Empire gave me many Egyptian vibes) and are different enough to not get boring. The singer probably is what holds the band back a little. He's doing a good, if not very good job but he still seems kind of out of place sometimes and not really fits the aggressive style of music at some points.

Nonetheless it seems like everyone is giving everything and it's just powerful. There are just a few acoustic parts on the album, no ballads are to be found here. A wise decision as ballads would probably only hinder the flow and atmosphere of Rage and Fire. It's pretty easy to tell what is inside Rage and Fire just by looking at the name: cool guitar riffs, power, power and more power. The closing track with the same name concludes and summarizes the album very well, it's all there. A fast and guitar-driven piece accompanied by light orchestral arrangements and these special and fun vibes which were created all along while listening to this album.

This is high quality from start to finish, Rage and Fire is a nearly flawless collection of powerful and fun pieces. Not a bad song to be found anywhere and I just love the aggressive approach of the band. I went in with zero expectations but I'm honestly happy I checked that one out. No matter who you are or what you like, if you like metal music you're pretty much obliged to give this a spin.

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