Review: Time is a Thief- We Are Strangers. 

Review: Claire Kane

Cork band Time is a Thief is one of many metal bands in Ireland, the difference is they have slowly been building themselves up to hold the title of Ireland’s answer to Biffy Clyro. With the release of their debut album ‘We Are Strangers’, time will tell if they will reach the heights of the critically acclaimed Scottish rockers.

This album, unlike many metal albums, is quite a pleasurable listen from start to finish. Variety is present from track to track, again something that would not be common among others of the genre. Each track is dripping with angst, as would be expected by anyone who has ever listened to anything by the Corkonians. Attention is immediately drawn in by the opening and title track. It is clear to see why the band have decided to not only lead with this track but name the album after it. It is one of those songs that has the potential to creep out of obscurity and become popular among more than just heavy rock fans. The evidence of the strength in the band’s talent shines through in this song and sets the listener up nicely for what it is, an album that exemplifies musical mastery. The production is exceptional but that does not overshadow the power in their abilities when it comes to each member’s instrument of choice. Once the track comes to an end, a feeling of anticipation overcomes the listener; it is evident from track one that this will be a treat to the ears.

The essence of Biffy Clyro seeps through most noticeably in Eyes; another well produced number with delectable vocals and powerful instrumentals. The bass is slick and meshes well with the overall melodic feel to the track. It is without doubt one of the most remarkable tracks out of the eleven on the album. Another stand-out track is Ear Wig. The track is one of the heaviest on the album, adopting elements of System of a Down in the verses particularly, as they are delightfully and unusually carried out. The song opens with an intense riff and abruptly leads to the astringent and interesting vocals. It is an angry and erratic track, one which you might listen to in order to vent the frustrations of the day (this writer is adding it to a very particular playlist) something which every quality metal band should be able to create with ease. It is contrasted greatly next to its predecessor Keep Running, which is considerably slower paced and exudes emotion rather than frustration through the drawn out vocals and tempered beat of the song.

The album is a masterclass in how to ‘do’ modern metal and bands that are struggling to get the gigs or the coverage these guys are getting. Perhaps it would be wise to listen and inform yourself on the key ingredients for an enjoyable yet powerful album. The band members are gifted and masters of their craft, clearly having studied their influences to a tee and practiced relentlessly.  The evidence of the ability to jump from heavy and cantankerous to tempered and mildly moody speaks volumes of this varied and immensely talented band that is sure to generate a solid fanbase of Irish hard rock fans. Have a listen HERE.


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