Guardians of Time - Tearing up the World - (9/10)
Published on December 9, 2018
There are bands that tear it up every one to two years and then there are some that more resemble interplanetary objects that only come around every couple of years. Norwegian Guardians of Time have never been a band to rush things along, showcased in the fact that Tearing up the World is only their fifth album in 17 years. However as the saying goes that you cannot rush good things, each and every one of these albums so far has turned out to be one of the respective year’s finest in power metal and their fifth symphony is no different.
Power metal often is decried as limp and fluffy, devoid of the heaviness many people would normally require in their metal music, but G.O.T. have always paid extra attention to having enough crunch in their guitars, heaviness in their overall approach and Bernt Fjellestad’s voice can pull off both awesome melodies and powerful grit, helping to combine proceedings into one of power metal’s crunchiest offerings of the year.
Coming three years after Rage and Fire, Tearing up the World is another firecracker of an album that takes the title quite literal. Following a recent trend of throwing intros and the likes out of the window, the opening title track sets the pace with frenetic tempo, thundering double bass, soaring, powerful vocals and boundless energy, where the rasps in the second verse come completely unexpected and do take out some of the dynamic tightness, but former Immortal fronter Abbath has never exactly been known for his vocal prowess and in the context of the lyrical content actually still works pretty well. When a band focuses on the upper tempos throughout an album, there always is the inherent danger of one-dimensionality, but this is where the band’s talent comes through, keeping the intensity high and the speeds in the faster regions, but juggling them so masterfully that said danger never comes to the fore. Be it fittingly titled soaring “Raise the Eagle”, dynamic “Brothers of the North”, urgent “Kingdom Come” or the Ripper Owens guested “As I Burn”, every single one of them could be used as prime examples for Tearing Up the World and manage to shine.
Bands and albums like this make one wonder, if one should hope for more frequent releases or rather be content with longer intervals, but a continuously outstanding high level of quality. Guardians of Time are definitive proponents of the latter category and an already strong 2018 crop of power metal albums has another very strong contender in the race for the top spot of the genre, Tearing Up the World really puts the “power” into power metal again!