Musically, Borrowed Time broadly falls into the “epic metal” spectrum – there are obvious odes to heavy metal like the bands from early the NWOBHM (Iron Maiden, Angel Witch), but also Manilla Road and Brocas Helm. What would separate Borrowed Time from other similar acts is the strong emphasis of melody and purposefully lo-fi production in the mix.
Toca Madera are another act joining the fray, playing in the vein of early 80s Spanish Metal like Barón Rojo, Ángeles del Infierno and Panzer (the name is a reference to their most famous album) among others. With 5 songs clocking in roughly at 25 minutes, the self-titled EP captures the exact feel of those first Spanish records: a gritty, unpolished tribute that sounds somewhere between late 70s hard rock, early NWOBHM and edging on speed metal at times.
Since I first came across Acerus a few years ago, it’s always baffled me that they aren’t better known. Formed as a side-project of various members of The Chasm and some related bands (though it became a solo project for guitarist Daniel Corchado on the second album), Acerus play epic barbarian heavy metal in the absolute best of ways. All of The Chasm’s death metal has been stripped away, leaving behind only the gorgeous heavy metal influences that make them so wonderful, Corchado’s layered approach to songwriting, and a driving, captivating aggression. The Unreachable Salvation is the result of death metal maniacs finally making the traditional music that’s always inspired them, and it’s one of the most spectacular achievements of the type that I’ve heard.