Friday, December 30, 2011

To the glory of obscure Heavy Metal : BORROWED TIME

I heard recently about this band through my great friend Dean Tavernier, who named them as his REVELATION of the year in the recent POLL published here... Dean has great tastes and is such an inspired and talented musician that when I saw this "arcane metal arts" available on my lastest Doom Dealers's update, I ordered it immediately ! And, indeed, the result doesn't suffer from any contestation : BORROWED TIME -Michigan ,USA- , if not THE (for myself, just by the fault of Dean's band STONE MAGNUM and BARABBAS !!!), is ONE of THE  true revelations of 2011...      "ARCANE METAL ARTS" is the band's first demo, recorded with the original line-up consisting in Daven Ruiz (guit/battle cries), J. Priest (bass/Dark omens) and Sean Cyriis (drums), it has been soon marketed on CD via Sarlacc Productions. Despite a very average and too limited production, especially considering the melodic and musical style of metal displayed and  the short lenght of the product, this is a demo like old 40's metallers are dreaming of regularly with nostalgia but that we get fuckin' too rarely nowadays : a true underground piece of obscure Heavy Metal rooted in  the early 80's... Those who have had their first hair pushed while listening to DIAMOND HEAD, HEAVY LOAD, MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL, WITCHFYNDE, PAGAN ALTAR, SATAN, SORTILEGE, VIRGIN STEELE, OMEN, etc... know what I'm talking about !!! This period, where bands were as much influenced by mid 70's hard rock  than early NWOBHM emerging acts.

With 4 songs lasting about 13 minutes, the stuff is obviously too short and that's a regret, as moreover it includes the cover "Necropolis" from MANILLA ROAD -a very good version, faithful and well executed but not the highlight- and also a short instrumental; but both "burning mistress" and "sailor on the seas of fate" are very very catchy songs of old Ethereal Heavy Metal with extremely tight musicianship, reminding PAGAN ALTAR in the structures and sense of melodic heaviness. There's a true feeling of  pure HEAVY METAL here which is reviving  : obscure and somewhere archaïc by the sound, structures and influences, arcane certainly by the lyrical and conceptual approach, but in my opinion mainly by the sense of amazing melodies and some high-pitched vocals which remind a bit (the best french ever) Metal vocalist "Zouille" from the grandissime SORTILEGE... a fucking agreeable surprise I tell you ! Shared wisely, vocals are also lower toned and their global quality remind too that this was the time of brilliant melodic singing, heavy twisted guitars and pounding rythmics, when a band's entity was generally perfectly well-balanced, straight, melodic, heavy and  technically faultless.
Just two original (complete) songs would usually seem not enough to affirm a definite judgement on a new band, especially if it's a very enthusiastic one, but shortly after the band  has released this autumn the "FOG IN THE VALLEY"  EP !!! The evolution is logical here, with a very decent production this time (thanx for the rythmic section !). Being now a 5 piece with J. Priest exclusively concentrating on vocals, which became then more harmonious,   B.T. affirm themselves more cohesive, thicker too and DEFINITELY as a name to count on for the next years. Sure I would have enjoyed again to have more new songs, but I should not hide my pleasure and one has to reckon that things are yet going fast enough for the band.
Indeed if I tell you for example that the band is yet confirmed for the RAGNAROK Fest 2012 and also the KEEP IT TRUE XVI fest in 2013, ain't that a great sign of early and well-deserved recognition and of course of a more than promising quality ??? !!!
You've been warned, reviving the flame, strong and proud, BORROWED TIME will obviosuly record a full length in 2012 and will be then definitely ready for epic crusades, as for now you've got here 2 nice products to discover their amazing sound...

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