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Review: Helloween - The Time Of The Oath
The Time Of The Oath

Label: Raw Power/Castle
Year released: 1996
Duration: 61:34
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: January 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
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Rated 4.1/5 (81.94%) (62 Votes)

This is the album that put these guys back on the map, after the departure of Kai Hansen, the commercial and critical flop of Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon, ultimately leading to the loss of both vocalist Michael Kiske, and their record label EMI. Sure Master of the Rings could be seen as Helloween's comeback album, though in my book I see it as more of a warm up, preparing us for this, their genuine return to form. Fans of both Keepers... releases need read no further, buy this now you won't be disappointed.

Album number seven for these guys, The Time of the Oath is a concept album based on the prophecies of Nostradamus. (Popular guy as of late.) One of the few Helloween albums not to include a useless intro, we get right into things with "We Burn" and already the bad taste still lingering from the aforementioned flops is gone from the mouth. We're assaulted with typical Helloween double kicks and smoking fret-work, a style to spawn so many false pretenders. Next up we're treated to what these Germans do best: "Steel Tormentor", "Wake Up The Mountain" and single/live staple "Power" are all brimming with excellent musicianship, complemented with the inimitable vocals of Andi Deris. "Forever and One" holds up the line, a predictable ballad with nothing new on the table, although at less than four minutes it flies by quickly. The guitar solo featured in this track really cooks. Fans of Helloween's epic side need not fear, some of the greatest epics these guys put to paper feature on this album. "Mission Motherland" is simply cool, with some sick machine gun like riffing weaved in and out of the nine plus minutes run time. Album closer "The Time of the Oath" is another corker with some naughty riffage and a much welcomed darker atmosphere. My favorite track has to be the heavier "Kings Will Be Kings", infectious chorus and a good measure of crunch is what the doctor ordered here.

All in all The Time of the Oath is another classic Helloween release, slightly let down by two lame-ass ballads and the token ridiculous track "Anything My Mama Don't Like" although I can even tolerate that, as opposed to some of the more stupid output these guys have recently recorded. ("Mrs. God" and "Can Do It", I'm looking your way.) Criminally overlooked, The Time of the Oath should find a place in every serious Power Metal fan's collection. Recommended.

More about Helloween...
Review: 7 Sinners (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Better Than Raw (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Chameleon (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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Review: Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Keeper of the Seven Keys - Part I (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Master Of The Rings (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Metal Jukebox (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: My God-Given Right (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Pink Bubbles Go Ape (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Rabbit Don't Come Easy (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
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