Timeless Miracle - Into The Enchanted Chamber
Lyrically dealing with mystic medieval tales, Nordic folklore, the pagan nature culture and some witches and werewolves and musically delivering speedy ultra melodic power metal with folk-music and classical arrangements are what Swedish Timeless Miracle are all about. This for me brand new acquaintance was formed by vocalist/bassist Mikael Holst and guitarist/keyboarder Fredrik Nilsson around four years ago and have now got their debut Into the Enchanted Chamber to the CD-retailers' shelves.
When it comes to a more detailed description of the sound of this band quite many influences have to be considered and there are many bands to compare them with as you will soon see. The ultra melodic touches mainly derive from bands of Freedom Call and Heavenly calibre and the often used keyboard sounding trumpet fanfares are also instalments these bands have in common. The more medieval musical inputs like flute, violin and cello and some mighty choruses are fetched from Rhapsody's old playgrounds as are the other classical arrangements. On occasion Timeless Miracle also crosses the boundaries to the territories of Blind Guardian in the medieval and folk-music episodes and also the more aggressive parts of some songs. In the folk-music aspects you can also distinguish touches of Falconer and Elvenking and when the speed is increased Helloween aren't that far away either. Vocalist Mikael Holst reminds quite strongly of a better version of Crystal Eyes former singer Mikael Dahl and there are similarities when it comes to the song-structures and sound of that band as well. Furthermore I actually sense touches of former White Skull vocalist Fredrica "Sister" in the more harsh and aggressive parts of his vocal delivery and I really meant that to be a flattering comparison. Some might think it tough for a guy to be compared to a woman but in this particular case, Fredrica has also been compared with male vocalists so hopefully Mr Holst won't be too upset =)
The sonical outcome of all these influences and inputs is still something quite unique and trust me when I say that Timeless Miracle actually patch things up and form something very substantial and cohesive out of this colourful spectrum of comparing bands. The opening Curse of the Werewolf is a very speedy and highly melodic power metal number that just screams Freedom Call and Heavenly in the introductory guitar/keyboard delivery and verse and bridge sections while the mighty chorus is something Rhapsody wished they had used on any of their albums. Witches of Black Magic compiles a verse-section with galloping rhythms and presents a highly infectious bridge and refrain of Crystal Eyes pattern. The title track is so melodic, sing-along friendly and heavily violin fuelled it's almost reaching ridiculous levels and here the main read thread of their lyrics are the clearest when they claim to have come to pay tribute to the pagan way of life. The Devil and The Red Rose mixes mid- and up-tempo and continue to deliver keyboard-dominating intros and more choruses of memorable sort. Return of the Werewolf is the fastest and most direct track on the album with some very evident Blind Guardian parts while Down to the Gallows is a metal-hymn that could have been taken straight from any medieval inn's common-room or again any Rhapsody output. The concluding The Voyage is a 14 minute epic 8-parted opus with many tempo changes and an abundance of classical arrangements and contains virtually everything this band stands for musically.
It's very hard not to be impressed and blown away by the massive melodic and fast driven power metal that Timeless Miracle delivers but you also get a little too much of the juice. The band has many outstanding ideas and great instrumental and vocal solutions to their songs but it also feels slightly oversaturated when so incredibly much has been pushed into every single track. And with so many inputs they've still failed to include one of the most important instalments when it comes to metal and it feels like one question is more essential than any other: Where the hell are the guitar solos? Return of the Werewolf and The Voyage are the only tracks that contain something in that fashion but those are more licks and really outstanding ones too but please give us more solos next time boys. Many bands have few such instalments on their early albums of course and it all depends what they are replaced with and Timeless Miracle have turned to the keyboard in most of these cases. Nothing wrong with that idea either but it all depends on how you choose to deliver them and this band's notions to have a more futuristic kind of spaced out effects is something that definitely reduces the final score.
The musical scenario that presents itself is still a very ambitious and impressive one and I can nothing but warmly recommend Into the Enchanted Chamber to fans of the bands among the similar artists and this particular metal genre. You'll get your full share of rich melodies, outstanding bridges and two-parted mighty choruses all around and even though the solos are totally absent the rhythm riffage and introductory guitar melodies are fat and groovy enough to compensate for this void at least a little. The production by Anders Theander (Majestic, Pain of Salvation, Last Tribe etc) and Pontus Lindmark is far above average and more than satisfactory for a debut release. Timeless Miracle have some obstacles to overcome before they reach the top of the mountain but they are more than half-way up the slopes already and this was with all certainty far from the last we heard from this band. Keep an eye out for Timeless Miracle and their Into the Enchanted Chamber and don't be surprised if the next release from this Swedish camp climbs much closer to the summit.
By Song Commentary