Marked by the hands of time
He is watching through ages of madness
A teardrop in his eyes"
One Word Review: Impressive
As fortune would have it, I discovered this band over a drink at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2017. Taking home a promo copy of their debut album, here, almost a year later, I can safely say that Cromonic's debut is a small gem, which I still listen to on a regular basis.
Cromonic was founded on the remains of Freternia, a Swedish power metal band, which somehow passed me by back in the early 2000's. Based on the music on this album, and the closing song, a cover of Freternia's Dragonsong, I will be hunting the vendors at this years Sweden Rock Festival for the two existing Freternia albums, hoping to some day hear this extinct band. Or should I say, reborn... While researching this review, and reaching this exact point of writing it, I discovered that Freternia is actually re-uniting and working on an album for release later in 2018! Woo!
Anyway, back to Cromonic. Musically, Time is a highly melodic cocktail of heavy metal with slight progressive tendencies and loads of power in both music and vocals. The album comes running out of the gates with a guitar solo of symphonic proportions, providing a sweet build-up to the opening vocal lines. It is clear from the outset that the band is of high technical merit and manage to marry both the technical aspect and that of melody, to a degree where even the progressive tendencies don't take away the focus from the main melody. Said opener, Another World, segues in and out of tempos but keeps focus and becomes an breathless opening song.
Time has all those elements I've already mentioned and take them to further heights. It is such a great feeling when, during each of the verse sections, a heavy guitar riff underlines the urgency twice, in what becomes fist-clenching moments to look forward to. The bridge section following the first verse, takes the song even higher with a stratovarius-esque keyboard run and right there, I sat back, with a wide smile, that it is possible to discover such great music by total chance. Lead singer Pasi, further adds to the drive of the song, as he really seems to channel the same urgency, which inhabits both the guitar and keys. Alltogether, this is a magnificent song and without a doubt my favorite of the album.
It would have been mindblowing, had the album continued to rise, but instead, the album loses a bit of momentum and evens out, with one great and three good songs in a row. Tale Of Pain is the highlight of these, serving as a raging burst of anger, where Pasi's vocals reach new heights (This guy can wail) and the bridge section works brilliantly. Mental Cry, Prophecy and Revenant, though good songs, don't hold enough surprises to stay as interesting as the rest of the album.
Fortunately, the album delivers a superb finish, with the awesome threesome of Paradise, The Hunt and Dragonsong.
Paradise builds great tension before releasing it in a truly infectous chorus. The way Pasi sings in a normal voice, before nailing some ultra high notes in the chorus, works as a great contrast and is a highlight of the album.
The Hunt opens with a solemn atmosphere and evolves into a cool little epic. Then Dragonsong appears from out of nowhere and delivers a truly magical ending to the album. The hymn starts out as a soothing ballad, but builds to a powerful crescendo of metal, might and dragons. Just excellent.
The whole album has a special atmosphere and comes highly recommended. Special mention also goes to guitarist and main songwriter, Patrik von Porat, who delivers a solid number of cool solos and riffs. There is a great feeling of immediacy to his playing, which I really like.
The band is working on a follow-up and I am looking forward to hear if they can develop this further. This superb debut shows that there is great potential here.
Written By Steen
Online: Tuesday, June 5, 2018