Sunday, December 01, 2013

Borrowed Time-Borrowed Time

High Roller Records

Somehow, and I've got no clue how these fine people do it, High Roller Records has found another old, long forgotten about N.W.O.B.H.M. album. Borrowed Time, and their under-produced* (in oh such a good way!) nine track album, must not have gotten very far back in the heyday or much press initially because I've honestly never heard of them before receiving a copy of this album as a gift. Wait a second. What did you say? You mean to tell me this is a band from Detroit that was formed in 2010? How can that be? With a sound that seems ripped right out of the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene itself (think Cloven Hoof, Diamond Head, Elixir, Demon Pact and Iron Maiden's early years all rolled into one) Borrowed Time is everything you'd want from a retro-worship band only without all the hang-ups! The band is lead by vocalist/keyboardist Jean-Pierre Abboud (aka: J. Priest), formerly of power metal outfit Shadow Self, and for such a young heavy metal band they've sure got an amazing old-world charm about them! Prior to this nine-track debut album the group release a demo, EP, compilation and a split with (the also quite cool) British act Wytch Hazel. This self-titled release from Borrowed Time follows the carbon footprints left by many a great N.W.O.B.H.M. band as well as the group's other big influence, Manilla Road. Lead vocalist/keyboardist J. Priest (the sole surviving original member and captain of this vessel) is joined by Matt Preston (guitars, keyboards), Victor Ruiz (guitars), Mark Kiseliovas (bass) and Sam Ceckowski (drums) and without sounding too corny or like the old man that I am I really miss this kind of real heavy metal. As someone who loves the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene first and foremost above all other genres a band like Borrowed Time is comforting and rekindles my love of older-style heavy metal. Changes are though that unless you're talking about really cool and hip kids (I'm thinking about my own kids and Joshua and Jake Wherley) today's younger generation of metal fanatics just wouldn't appreciate the little nuances that make Borrowed Time so sweet. They would be missing out though on something cool as Borrowed Time's debut album is a fun journey into the past from a band with (hopefully) a nice future ahead of them!

*Don't be mislead by my "under-produced" comment. "Borrowed Time", which was mostly recorded and mixed at Elm Street Recording, has a bit of a raw vibe going for it and when you have a band like this that actually turns out to be a positive situation rather then a negative one. IMO when you're tasked with recording either a N.W.O.B.H.M. or 80's metal influenced band the worst thing you can do for them would be to give their album a shiny/slick production. This sort of raw and natural heavy metal needs a under-scored production that plays to it's strengths. So, please don't  misunderstand how good this album sounds. If classic heavy metal is your thing then a band like Borrowed Time should fit squarely into your collection.

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