Time For Expiation (MMXV Edition)


So, for the second time over the past couple of days I have the pleasure […]
By Saxon Davids
March 22, 2015
Dragonhammer - Time For Expiation (MMXV Edition) album cover

So, for the second time over the past couple of days I have the pleasure of giving my thoughts on the 2 brand new remastered re-releases from DRAGONHAMMER, this review is the latter of the two, "Time For Expiation (MMXV Edition)", if you need any background information on DRAGONHAMMER and the re-release project with My Kingdom Music, be sure to check out what is essentially 'part 1' of my two reviews for this band, "The Blood of the Dragon (MMXV Edition)".

This album starts off with a short introductory track, "Ancient Voice" which as the titles explicitly explains, are the words of a deep and evil sounding voice, which really dragged me in from the moment it started talking with the faint and dissonant sounding wind in the background. It gives a chilling feeling that lets me know that things are about to get crazy and it anticipates me to my very core to hear what DRAGONHAMMER can do after the exceedingly excellent "The Blood of the Dragon"... Then "Eternal Sinner" kicks in with speed, heaviness and pure power metal might! From the get-go its clear to see that DRAGONHAMMER have improved in terms of skill, song writing and from a production stand point also since the previous album; everything blends very nicely in the mix and not to mention that the tremolo picked guitars are as tight as the grip I have on my seat while taking in the shear high amounts of energy that I get from this band... And I'm only a minute or so into the first track! But I can assure you that this tightness is consistent throughout the whole album, which every other song heavier than the last with tons of impressive virtuosity from the guitars and keyboards, as well as earth shattering drums and bone breaking bass guitar!

The vocals have also improved from my perspective since the last album; Max Aguzzi seems to have widened his vocal range and also improved his vibrato and ability to execute his lines better than the last album, not that his vocal were bad before, quite the contrary, but here it seems 100% effortless for him to deliver each and every line perfectly.

This album also has some softer songs (it couldn't be Power Metal without the odd cheesy ballad now would it!) and I can honestly say that although I adore the speed and ferociousness displayed here, that "The Pages I Never Wrote" is one of my favourite tracks on the album; The emotion and soul portrayed in this song seems to bleed out of everyone in the band and it is extremely well written and structured, I get chills every time this track comes on.

In terms of the bonus tracks for this re-release; like "The Blood of the Dragon", this one also contains 2 live songs from their European tour last year with FREEDOM CALL, we have "Believe" being played in Barcelona and "Fear of a Child" recorded in Madrid, which are both very well executed live! You are also able to hear the audience singing the words back to them at times which is great! But before those, we have another track called "Letters of Pain" which was previously only available as a Japanese bonus track for the original release back in 2004. This is the other ballad of the album, but the difference here is that it consists only of piano and vocals. This is another powerful and quite different song on the album; I can hear a slight influence of rock legends QUEEN in this song which is a nice contrast to the rest of the powerful and speedy album.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Time For Expiation (MMXV Edition)" Track-listing:

1. Ancient Voice
2. Eternal Sinner
3. Believe
4. Fear of a Child
5. The Pages I Never Wrote
6. Free Land
7. Blind Justice
8. YMD
9. Time For Expiation
10. Letters of Pain (Bonus Track)
11. Believe (Live in Barcelona 2014 - Bonus Track)
12. Fear of a Child (Live in Madrid 2014 - Bonus Track)

Dragonhammer Lineup:

Max Aguzzi - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Gae Amodio - Bass
Alex Valdambrini - Keyboards
Milko Morelli - Drums & Percussions

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