TIMEMAGE – Shadow Realm

Label: self-financed
Release: December 11  2004
By: Dajana
Rating: 6.5/10
Time: 49:45
Style: Power Metal
URL: Timage

TIMEMAGE is the project of Stefan Schenkel who is musically realizing his conceptual stories in the veins of a rock opera. For every opus he is working with different musicians, giving the best to realize what he has in mind. Musically speaking Stefan has wrapped his work in progressive metal, following his own likings, with many influences from metal, gothic, rock up to orchestral and classic elements added, to give depth and different facets to the music.
After 2 compilation CD’s with his early works Shadow Realm is now the fourth and again self-financed concept album.
The protagonist of Shadow Realm firstly comes to death in Deadly Accident, just to realize that it is not the end (Still Alive) being captured in the spheres between (Shadow Realm). Here he has to make the decision either to find the soul of his murdered wife and to vanish with her into dimensions much better than earth OR to take revenge on the to date unpunished killer. Especially, since he had to experience her cruel death, pains and tortures in the Shadow Realm.
All in all the music is very lively, vibrant and arrangements bombastic as expected. Instrumentation reflects quite good the anguish and inner brokenness of the protagonist. All participating singers give profile to the single characters. Quite, sometimes acoustic passages calm down furious emotions.
Still Alive and Fly remind me of Rage and their Ghost album for what Divinus singer Daniel Ott is responsible. He has really a great clean voice. Likewise good are the death metal tracks She’s So Neat and I’ll Take Revenge with the growls by the mastermind himself. But I cannot say the same about the voice of Andreas Schenkel in Forgive Me and all female voices (Drowned In Blood, My Call, Our Souls Unite) which are too pale and inexpressive. Besides the kitschy keyboards in Drowned In Blood and Our Souls Unite that is the big downer on Shadow Realm. About the production in Stefan’s home studio there is not that much to nag about. It is really powerful made.
In consideration of the effort in compositions and arrangements, realizing such a conceptual story I think Stefan Schenkel has done a great work. There are surely some things to polish but I guess he will grow with his visions, skills and technical possibilities.