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Salamandra - Time to change 4/5

Reviewed: 3-1-11


1. Time to change
2. Eternal moon
3. Crusader
4. Underworld tale
5. Leaving me
6. Dark matter
7. Lost life
8. Masters of rock
9. Factor zero
10. The piano time

It was a pleasure to review Salamandra's 4th CD 'Faces of Chimera' a few years back, so I was really excited to learn that this Czech Republic power metal band had released their 5th CD 'Time to change' - once again through Leviathan Records. Since their previous few CDs (not just 'Faces of Chimera') have been excellent, I was expecting great things with this CD and it hasn't disappointed at all, though just like with 'Faces of Chimera', there have been some changes and 'Time to change' might just be the appropriate title.

For starters, musically, while the band previously had me thinking of bands like Blind Guardian and especially Logar's Diary because of the folk elements, this CD doesn't have the folky presence. In fact, I don't hear any of the unique instruments (bagpipes, flute, etc.) that were present on their previous few CDs. Instead, the band has gone in more of a symphonic direction and this CD constantly brings the band Morifade to mind. Nothing wrong with this at all, as Morifade is an outstanding band and the comparison is meant as a compliment.

I don't just hear Morifade musically however, as vocalist Ivan Borovsky (who has been with the band since the previous 'Faces of Chimera') is remarkably similar to Stefan Petersson, who is the vocalist on the first 3 Morifade CDs, though he is no longer with the band. Seriously, they sound a lot alike and both of them are terrific, so expect high quality vocals from Salamandra. I have noticed that there are less of the female/soprano vocals (courtesy of Hanka Slachtova, who is also the keyboardist), but the band still uses plenty of backing vocals (like a small choir) - especially during the choruses. In a nutshell, the entire vocal department on this CD is superb.

In addition to the changes I've mentioned thus far, one other thing I've noticed is that there is a bit less speed on this CD when compared to their previous CDs. The tempo ranges from mid-paced/catchy to fast-paced, and the minor change is neither a strong or weak aspect, just simply something that's stood out. There is still plenty of speed, so overall, it's just a matter of accepting the changes (most of which are minor) and I must emphasize that the band will still be instantly recognized by fans of their other CDs. This is truly another excellent CD from the band, and it's comforting to know that they're still going strong, as there are a number of power metal bands that never make it to a 5th CD.




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