Helloween's follow-up to their solid 1994 Master of the Rings album, The Time of the Oath, picks up where it's predecessor left off. Combining their Keeper of the Seven Keys style with Painkiller-era Judas Priest and shades of Yngwie Malmsteen, The Time of the Oath shows Helloween at their best.
The Time of the Oath is their second album with singer Andi Deris and drummer Uli Kusch, and both prove to be invaluable as both their performances and their songwriting are top-notch. The album ranges in style from their brand of melodic (near) Speed Metal ("We Burn," "Steel Tormentor," "Before The War," and "Kings Will Be Kings"), to very catchy straight-ahead Metal ("Wake Up The Mountain," and "A Million To One") to what I hesitate to call Power Ballads ("Forever And One," and "If I Knew"), to the Steve Vai/Steve Stevens influenced "Anything My Mama Don't Like."
Less Germanic and more British in style than their Keys albums, The Time of the Oath forges ahead with a truly classy hybrid Euro-Metal style. At a time when Iron Maiden was disappointing many fans with their Blaze Bayley era albums, Helloween took their music up to the next level and picked up the slack. The Time of the Oath is a great Power Metal album!