Timeless Miracle - Into The Enchanted Chamber
Massacre Records
Melodic Power Metal
12 songs (64'31)
Release year: 2005
Timeless Miracle, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Much has been said/discussed not only in the forums here at Metal Reviews, but by many others on the net about the apparent saturation of the power metal genre and the countless numbers of so called "generic" or just plain average bands that exist nowadays. I'll be the first one to agree with that but I'm not about to dismiss the genre as being a thing of the past and not worth keeping an interest in anymore. I still enjoy great melodic power metal as much as I used to but I find it getting harder and harder to be impressed by new releases, even from some of the more established bands in the genre just by the sheer volume of albums coming out these days. I try to sample everything that we get here at Metal Reviews as you never know when an absolute gem of an album may just drop out of nowhere. Philip, our programmer extraordinaire brought this album to my attention and I'm certainly glad he did. Timeless Miracle have released one of the better melodic power metal albums so far this year and up until last week, I'd never heard of them.

Formed in 2001 by Mikael Holst (bass/vocals) and Fredrik Nilsson (guitars/keyboards), the two recorded a 6 song demo with the aid of a drum machine and landed a recording contract a mere two weeks after it was finished. They recruited a second guitarist, Sten Moller, drummer Jaime Salazar and entered the studio in August 2004 along with producers Anders (Theo) Theander (Majestic, Pain Of Salvation, Last Tribe) and Pontus Lindmark to record their first full length album.

Several tracks on this album got my attention right away while others took a few more listens. After about the third or fourth listen, I was blown away by the quality of this band. If the speedy power metal of bands like Freedom Call, Edguy, and Sonata Arctica are to your liking as well as the symphonic edge of Rhapsody, all mixed in with Blind Guardian style folk and Celtic melodies then look no further than Timeless Miracle. Some may call this sort of metal "cheesy" and way too "happy" but when it's done almost to perfection with richly melodic vocals, a great mix of speed and atmospheric elements it's music of the gods to me!! The first track, Curse Of The Werewolf gets things started and is a killer opener. Speedy and thematic riffs, orchestrated keys effects, a huge chorus and very catchy melodies all come together in killer unison and this track as well as many others highlight the almost perfect way that this band blends the vocal melodies with the music. After a trumpeting Freedom Call style keyboard intro, the title track Into The Enchanted Chamber unfolds with it's brilliance. Dealing with how we have been corrupted by organized religions, lyrically this track calls on us to embrace Pagan virtues and get back to a more simple existence. I think I here overtones about the secretive Illuminati cult that existed centuries ago as their "chamber of enlightenment" was the Illuminati temple. Ironically, I was in the middle of reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons at the same time as listening to this album!! With a more orchestrated Rhapsody like sound, the chanting chorus to this song is simply awesome....the kind that gives you goose bumps. There are also some speedier sections and a cool guitar violin duet solo. The Devil, with it's similarities to Gary Moore's Over The Hills and Far Away main riff alternates between slower galloping and speedier tempos and again, another killer chorus to get stuck in your head. The quality continues with The Red Rose. A spirited mid tempo track, it gets speedier for the chorus section that has Blind Guardian overtones. This track has some more progressive elements and the amazing layered vocal rounds at the end add a very nice touch. Timeless Miracle tackles the obligatory power ballad with Memories and come through with flying colors. Spirited and with a huge sing along chorus, this is another one that will be on endless repeat in your brain. The final track, The Voyage is a huge 14 minute epic that covers all the bases from a very thematic guitar intro to Blind Guardian style harmonies, it too has a very spirited chorus.

I've only touched on the real standout songs but the rest are by no means filler tracks. Vocalist Mikael Holst has a higher pitched Mike Tramp (White Lion) style voice and the real impressive part of his vocal delivery is that he doesn't try to overdo it. He knows his range and limitations and doesn't push it past that. The rich vocal layering on almost every track is a big highlight of this album. The guitar parts are tasteful and very melodic and blend with the vocals perfectly. Instead of filling each track with shredding lead guitar, Timeless Miracle prefers tempo changes and instrumental guitar and keyboard passages in favor of solos. This makes for interesting and exciting arrangements that keep the listener on the edge. For a first album, they seem to have a firm grasp on what makes truly exceptional melodic power metal and should rise above the others because of it. The epic fantasy feel and excellent lyrics are a bonus as well and the whole feel of Into The Enchanted Chamber is like that of a concept album (although it isn't). I can't recommend this album enough. Even after playing it almost every day for the past week, I still find myself playing it constantly. It's rare for a power metal album to get such repeated listens from me anymore. For most new albums, even though I may enjoy them initially, the novelty quickly wears off and they get shelved along with the several hundred others only to gather dust. Into The Enchanted Chamber is an amazing debut album from Timeless Miracle and a real surprise. It's not quite a power metal masterpiece but it comes real close. I'll save that designation for their next album in anticipation of an even better album and that moment just can't come soon enough.........

Killing Songs :
Curse Of The Werewolf, Into The Enchanted Chamber, The Devil, The Red Rose, Memories and The Voyage
Marty quoted 85 / 100
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