01. Maybe Tomorrow
03. The Tell-Tale Heart
06. Rocket Shop
08. Over The Mountains
10. Dan Of The Shred
11. The Gunslinger
12. Endless Caravan
For those who are versed in extreme metal, Christian Muenzner should be no stranger, whether they realize it or not. He’s performed in Defeated Sanity and Necrophagist, and now he’s a member of tech death giants Obscura. Seeing as how he is obviously insanley well-versed in playing the guitar, it’s about time that he should be coming out with a solo album—and what a solo album Timewarp is. Not only is Christian Muenzner ripping it up on the guitar, death metal bass legend Steve DiGiorgio lends his talents, along with Muenzner’s former bandmate from Necrophagist, Hannes Grossman on drums. All of these elements coming together, we should be expecting a monster of a monster of an album, no? Well, read on to find out.
I was expecting something either on the lines of Jeff Loomis‘ solo album, insanely shreddy but lacking that certain soul element, or something that’s pretty much tech death without vocals. Mr. Muenzner has turned my expectations upside down, with a very diverse and interesting album instead. The first track, “Maybe Tomorrow”, surprisingly sounds a lot like… Wintersun, which is a great feat in itself. There are very interesting leads — played immaculately, of course — ranging from death metal influences to 80’s rock stylings. The song is quite epic and progressive, with every member of the “band” showing off their chops. Another track, “Confusion”, heavily uses seven stringed guitars, something Muenzner also uses in Obscura. This track is more groove-oriented, with a constant onslaught of leads that are reminiscent of old school metal, but with some jazz tings.
There are also moments where the band kicks into gear, with “The Tell-Tale Heart” sounding like a mixture of Obscura and Wintersun; heavy, deathly, and melodic. The drums are very fast but not overbearing, and there are also orchestral and keyboard elements in this song, enhancing the Wintersun vibe. Muenzner’s solo work on this track puts Dragonforce to shame with its immaculate power metal stylings, dueling on and off with keyboards.
Overall, the entire album is a perfect blend of tech death, power metal, 80’s influences, and great, tasty shredding. Nothing is over the top, every lead is done tastefully and just long enough to satisfy without droning off into boredom. This is not only a perfect solo album from a very talented guitarist, but also a great power metal album, surprisingly enough. I was a big fan of Obscura already, but now I am even more amazed at Christian Muenzner’s talent and taste. The 80’s influence, masterful playing and expertly written songs on this album should satisfy all fans of guitar-based metal. Since this is a self-release, let me point out that you can obtain it from Christian himself at Bandcamp and you can also stream it via the player below.