Released: 2005, Mausoleum Records
Put on Custard’s latest album, WHEELS OF TIME, and be prepared for an onslaught of non-stop super-speed melodic power metal. This German band has been around since 1987, but didn’t record their first full-length album until 1998. WHEELS OF TIME is album number three in their catalogue, and it packs an insane punch. With sounds quite similar to Stratovarius and DragonForce, Custard doesn’t really have much new to offer except stand as another band that will blast you with their speed.
The title track starts off the album strong with some of the coolest riffs one can find in power metal. They don’t have a keyboardist like most bands of this genre do, but they utilize the two guitarists to carry the melodies and put forth twice the heaviness. In the following songs, they change tempos from time to time to keep it fresh and attempt to prevent every song from sounding the same. They don’t always succeed, though. As the album progresses further, the songs do begin to blend together, namely “Sunrise” and “Shine On.” The choruses of these two are strikingly similar, not to mention the latter sounding almost identical to that of DragonForce’s “Valley of the Damned.” They’re so alike in fact, that at first I thought it was a cover song. It’s not.
The big strike against them is the vocals. It takes true talent for a guy to sing as high as most power metal singers today, and it’s painfully obvious when one is trying way to hard. I can pinpoint very few moments when this guy is on key. You will cringe. Instrumentally this band rocks my world, but they need a new singer. Really bad.