Breitenhold marks another project for Rocka Rollas mainman Ced. The target once again is speed metal, and this album is filled with blistering speed, shredding solos, and catchy choruses. Much like on the new Rocka Rollas album, Ced does lead vocals here in addition to the guitars. For that reason, this album is a bit of a head-scratcher; it’s really not all that different from “The Road To Destruction”. Why not release it under the Rocka Rollas name? That is what I thought after one listen, but upon subsequent listens, it is clear that Breitenhold is an entity of its own. The opener, “Time Is Gone” is a great injection of energy. From the moment Ced sings the words in the title, the track is a veritable feast of delicious speed metal riffs and aggression, drawing those Rocka Rollas comparisons. However, in the middle of the track, there is a clean guitar breakdown. There’s a solo in this section, and it really adds a differentiating factor to the band. This is not the only time on the album where clean guitars appear, and is just one of a few ways the band differentiates themselves from Ced’s other projects.
With that said, the primary draw here is still the speed metal. After the fantastic opener, “Hour of the Dead” kicks in and is almost just as potent. This song shows some gang/backing vocals used in the chorus, alongside some serious riffage. While not as fast at “Time Is Gone”, it still keeps the energy up. As the album continues on, it almost never loses steam. Song after song delivers quality, memorable speedy tunes, extravagant soloing, and choruses that will bring you back time and again. "Secret Worlds" combines the band's trademark speed with some unique melodies in the choruses. "To The Battle Far Beyond" and "Guardians Of The Black Castle" are two of the better anthems on the album, though neither is really any different from the other tracks on the record. The former brings in the epic backing vocals again, while the latter trades off between backing vocals and Ced's leads. The album manages to be consistent, though there are a couple of interludes on the first half to tame things down a bit. This is really another element where Breitenhold differs from Rocka Rollas. This band infuses some more atmosphere beyond just rocking out. Everything from the melodies used to the lyrical themes and imagery works together towards creating more of a fantasy vibe.
At the end of the day, this album still has strong similarities to Rocka Rollas; at least, certainly compared to the difference between Rocka Rollas and Ced’s other speed metal band Blazon Stone (yes, he has 3 of them now!). But it’s the same guy writing all of the music, so of course it will sound similar. And even if you don’t feel as strongly about the differences between bands as I do, it shouldn’t matter. Now we just have two great albums to listen to instead of one. Ced is a man who had already written 4 unreleased full albums and was working on a 5th in May 2011. The guy is an absolute machine, and whether he writes in different styles or under multiple band names, it’s all going to come out great. This album might be a tad weaker than “The Road To Destruction”, but it is still completely worthy of your collection and your time.
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"Time Is Gone"
"To The Battle Far Beyond"
"Guardians Of The Black Castle"
4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott