The Eye Of Time
Bands that walk the line of heavy/power metal synergy tend to lose my interest a little bit. This might be due to the lack of speed, the lessened emphasis upon hyper-melodic choruses and vocal lines, or maybe because the production sounds less polished. In any case, I'm pleased as punch to present to you a band that does a fine job of balancing power metal elements with more traditional metal. My metal ladies and gentlemen: I give you Chronology. A little known band just breaking out of its roots of Maiden-tribute, Chronology has served up a rich and hearty morsel of metal that is probably the best thing I've heard yet out of Hungary.
Lead singer Zoltan Kiss does have a bit of a Dickinson-esque voice, though I find him to be a little bit more proficient and geared towards the more stratospheric, power metal side of things. More or less, this seems to be the tendancy for the rest of the band as well: a modern Euro-power sound with a distinct Iron Maiden-esque flavor. Perhaps this is just because of the band's history, but it seems very obvious to me.
Musically, The Eye of Time is surprisingly varied, deep, and enjoyable. The sound of the band does not remain constantly power-metal centered after the strong, titular opener. Rather, the album proficiently balances modern Euro-power with traditional heavy metal elements in a manner that provokes interest and ensures a quality listen from beginning to end. For an example of what I mean, take “The Scriptorium” with its marvelous harmonization in both vocals and dual guitars, or the surprisingly mellow chorus of “Evil Eye”. With seventeen tracks, I keep waiting to get bored by some filler, but it just doesn't happen. At track twelve, the strange interlude “Benedictio” seems a bit strange, but serves as a very appropriate introduction to the ripping “Father Godhart”, one of the stronger tracks on the cd.
Chronology seems to have bided their time as a cover band for long enough to learn some very valuable lessons. The Eye of Time is never dull and is a surprisingly masterful excercise in marrying the old and new. Much of this is due to the band's guitar players, and the lead axe work is definitely the highlight of this album. Make no mistake, this album will be underrated and go unnoticed by a great many who will enjoy it despite its textbook acoustic passages, guitar solos, vocal melodies, and any number of other items. Sadly, hailing from Eastern Europe alone is what will most likely hold Chronology from widespread success in the near future.
However, if the band can produce an effort that parallels The Eye of Time on their next outing, they'll have some serious clout to work with. I'd tell the band this instant that they ought to make this their day job over “Iron Maidnem”. Covering the classics is admirable, but if you're this good at writing original material, please throw another one in the oven! Highly recommended to fans of less flowery power metal, traditional heavy metal, and even NWOBHM, as this is varied and interesting enough to draw a large crowd!
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The Protagonist's Rating: 8.0 out of 10