This is a much-improved and more mature release than The Ballads II. Oceans of Time finds Axel venturing into Power Metal territory. Although still pretty melodic this release has some aggression and energy that was nowhere to be found on The Ballads II. Songs like “Pay the Price” and “Holy Creatures” have that galloping pace that is the trade-mark of the German Power Metal sound. The majority of the album, however, leans toward a more melodic sound bringing to mind the style of Angel Dust. Something that impresses me about this release is that, even though Axel is a virtuoso guitar-player, he never gets carried away with his solos. I can think of a few musicians who could learn a thing or two about restraint from Axel. The songs show creativity and strong musicianship, and they are well-written. one complaint I have about this album is the duration of the songs. Most of them are better than six minutes long, but “The Gates of the Seven Seals” surpasses the ten-minute mark. If they could just be trimmed down a little I think the songs would be much stronger. Although this material is not at the same level as that of Helloween or Blind Guardian it’s still solid Power Metal.
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