Helloween - Time Of The Oath
Power Metal
12 songs (61:54)
Release year: 1996
Helloween, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

The Time of the Oath builds on what Helloween started with Master of the Rings when they returned to metal-form following the unbelievably bad Chameleon. The speed and precision of the drums and guitars on this album is up to par with the best that Helloween has ever done which speaks volumes about how amazing the music is on this album. I'm going to take the time to say this now, I believe that Markus Grosskopf is the most underrated bassist in metal. The guy can play it all.

All of the riffs, melodies and drums on this album are extremely tight and usually extremely fast. The song writing is excellent and varied as well, featuring several fast heavy songs, (We Burn, Steel Tormentor, Before the War and Kings will be Kings) a few lighter songs, (If I knew and Forever and One) and some sing along rockers with catchy choruses (Power and A Million to One). Mission Motherland is the longest track on the album clocking in at about nine minutes however it does not live up to the promise it displays in the first thirty seconds as the beginning climax is truly epic. The song is still solid though. The title track is excellent as well with it's almost trance inducing riffs and rhythm. It manages to be repetitive while just narrowly avoiding being boring.

Really, the only problem with this album is the vocals and this is unfortunate because Andi Deris gives an excellent performance. I love it when he hits those high notes with his raspy voice. The problem with the vocals is that they have a tendency to get lost in the mix with the rest of the music. It isn't that they are too quiet, rather it's that they are too layered, often with many different voice tracks and effects overlapping each other making the vocals blend in with the rest of the music. This takes a lot of the passion out of the music, as it makes it needlessly difficult to understand what Andi Deris is saying and it is a shame. The production on this album is decent as you can hear all of the different instruments playing at blazing speeds, however the band does sound unnaturally tight creating too much of a cohesive sound that blends together all of the instruments and vocals too seamlessly. Maybe the album was over-produced a bit in the studio or Helloween is just too damn tight for it's own good

Due to the way the album was mixed, the vocals are unable to grab you and pull you into the song so it is very easy for the casual listener to hear this album and basically not remember a single song as The Time of the Oath can fade into background music very quickly if you are not giving it your full attention. Helloween throws a lot at the listener with their fast and often very complex music and with the vocals not being featured prominently in the mix, a lot of what makes the song memorable may be missed unless listened to closely. Because of this, the album gets better the more you listen to it. In other words, you really get out of this album what you choose to put into it attention-wise. It's a shame the album was mixed this way as The Time of the Oath is a bit lengthy to always be commanding your attention as it is slightly over sixty minutes.

It was extremely hard to pick out the killing songs on this album. Every song on this album is excellent and features amazing performances from all members of the band. The lone exception is Anything My Mama Don't Like which is in the same comedic vein as other silly Helloween songs such as Rise and Fall, Heavy Metal Hamsters and The Game is On. Helloween is famous for their tongue-in-cheek humour however, despite the fact that I am a huge Helloween fan, their humour usually rubs me the wrong way. If you like their brand of humour than you will be able to appreciate Anything My Mama Don't Like, if you don't, then like me, you will skip this song every time this album is played. However, since The Time of the Oath throws so much at you, having one lame song on the album is no big deal.

Killing Songs :
We Burn, Power, Kings Will Be Kings
Shane quoted 83 / 100
Marty quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Helloween that we have reviewed:
Helloween - Helloween reviewed by Ben and quoted 84 / 100
Helloween - Master Of The Rings reviewed by Ben and quoted 73 / 100
Helloween - Better Than Raw reviewed by Ben and quoted 94 / 100
Helloween - United Alive In Madrid reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Helloween - Straight out of Hell reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 23 reviews click here
17 readers voted
Your quote was: 88.
Change your vote

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!