Written by: Blackie Skulless
Last year, the Italian traditional heavy metallers Konquest brought forth their debut album The Night Goes On. Channeling a pretty heavy amount of Iron Maiden worship, it was something decently strong, but nothing out of this world. When a young act that sticks to the basics closely hits the scene, it can go one of two ways. Either the band continues with that one trick and gets fine at best, or they take it a step further and make an identity for themselves. Time And Tyranny would see them doing the latter.
So it should be obvious that the Iron Maiden influences are still worn on their sleeves, but with higher levels of originality. As a matter of fact, Konquest reflects the Paul Di’anno days more than anything, and that’s fully realized on this record. A far tighter production is added without overdoing it, the mix is at a point that literally everything can be showcased for proper digestion, and the energy is impactful even on the slower numbers. This is all pretty fantastic at its base, but if that were the only step forward, we could just about end things here with a “this is pretty damn good” and little else to say.
Thankfully that’s not the case. Time And Tyranny takes every early influence and everything done correctly on the debut and capitalizes on it with levels of memorability that outdo themselves several times over. The aforementioned energy on the slower numbers alone breathes all new life. “The Light That Fades Again” loops in so many bright melodies and bassy steadiness, without compromising the soft singing that makes up most of this track. Its crawl into a powerful solo backed by clashing drums invokes some serious endorphins, coupled with the repetition of a chorus as the outro. This landed better than I’ve seen in a long time. Moreover, “Something In The Dark” wonderfully transitions into this prior to it by settling its heavier elements near the end and bringing the mood to a neutral saturation. Emotions work their way into every crevice of these two tracks, and its ability to shine at just the right times is absolutely masterful. “A Place That I Call Home” finishes this phase beautifully, working right off the attitude in the prior two tracks for perfected linear flow.
Acting as an emotional pit within otherwise heavy parameters seems to strike nicely every time. The record opens on a more aggressive note with the title track and its “Relativity” intro, which is where the tone is set. Showing that there is no departure from the foundation laid out before, the momentum of sturdy rhythms and a memorable chorus takes grip and never lets go. The return to this hits hardest later on “The Traveller,” which struck with an explosive impact following the slow descent from heavier openings to its beautiful core. Closing things out, we get “Enter The Warrior” as a prelude to the epic “Warrior From A Future World,” an eight minute epic that brings everything together before departing. Small hints of USPM make their way in here, not in the speed metal way, but in the action-packed Operation: Mindcrime way.
Really, this entire effort feels like a cruise through time while overcoming heavy struggles with loads of hopeful fervor (fitting the title). Perhaps this might read like a power metal record, but I assure you it holds all the over-the-top bells and whistles that mutilate many a Europower disc. Never have I seen a band go from “pretty good” to “abilities fully understood” in such a short span of time. Anybody seeking a refreshing traditional metal album from the new-age needs to prioritize this immediately. Whether you prefer Haunt, Enforcer, Devils Night, Ghost, or Seax, there is something here for you.
Konquest - Time and Tyranny was released October 14, 2022 via No Remorse. Find it here!
Konquest can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.