Album Reviews

Project Arcadia – A Time of Changes Review

projectarcadia_cover

Released by: Nightmare Records

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Genre: Melodic Metal

Links: http://www.projectarcadiabg.com/en/learn/

 

Line Up:

Urban Breed – Vocals

Plamen Uzunov – Guitars

Vili Neshev – Guitars

Dobromir Paraskov – Bass

Daniel Dimitrov – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Here to Learn

2. Shelter Me

3. I Am Alive

4. Beggars At the Door

5. The Ungrateful Child

6. Timeless

7. Joy

8. A Time of Changes

9. Formidable Foe

10. The Deal

11. Shadows of the Night

 

Until recently I doubt I would have been able to name a single metal band from Bulgaria off the top of my head. That has changed with Project Arcadia, and their second full length release A Time of Changes. The band quality released their debut From the Desert of Desire in 2009, but with the help of Nightmare Records they are looking to gain more attention now. To further help with this, they have brought in very highly regarded metal singer Urban Breed, who folks may know from his work with Tad Morose, Bloodbound and more recently, Trails of Murder. Having such an excellent singer sure helps, but has the band delivered anything worthy of his voice? Yes, though I think there’s still a ton of room for growth.

It’s no mystery what Urban Breed brings to the table: He has a powerful, yet very smooth delivery, excellent vocal range, and the ability to turn a decent vocal melody into something truly special. He’s in fine form as always, but the music is just as important as the vocals, if not more so. Stylistically, fans can expect a blend of mid-tempo melodic heavy metal, some speedy power metal sections, occasional proggy parts, and at times an overabundance of balladry. It’s this last part that’s particularly disappointing, because while Urban does an excellent job on every song, I was left wanting more from the rest of the band, especially since they do show a lot of potential at times.

The album starts off strong, with the speedy power metal track “Here to Learn”, which features some very good guitar work to go along with the excellent vocals. Even better is “Shelter Me”, which starts off with a slow and heavy verse, before speeding up and turning into an excellent power metal song for the chorus. Most songs feature tempo changes, and there are more speedy sections throughout, but those are definitely the two fastest songs on the album. Among the mid-tempo songs, “Beggars At the Door” is probably the catchiest on the album, while “Formiddable Foe” is more progressive and has perhaps the best instrumental work on the album.

The title track and “Timeless” are both solid, with the choruses for both being great, but the verses are a little bit bland and uninspired, falling into balladry. There aren’t any weak songs here, but I feel the band plays it a bit too safe at times. There are moments where the instrumental work is great, particularly some of the guitar riffs, but there should have been more of that. The two actual ballads “I Am Alive” and :Ungrateful Child” are both well written and do a goob job of showcasing Urban Breed, but aside from him they don’t really stand out.

Overall, I think A Time of Changes is a solid album, and I certainly will be looking looking forward to future releases from Project Arcadia. I think they have a lot of room for improvement, but there’s certainly enough moments of great melodic heavy metal and power metal here for me to recommend this album to fans of both genres, and obviously it’s a must hear for fans of Urban Breed.

 

Written by Travis

Ratings   Travis    7/10

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