Originally Time In Malta were a three-piece band that formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 and successfully managed to weave intense melodies with hardcore metal to create a dynamic and exciting sound. A few line-up changes later and this, still relatively obscure band, is now a quartet made up of Todd Gullion (vocals, guitars), Chris Lyon (guitars), Jesse Hayes (bass) and Adam Goldstein (drums).
Time In Malta’s second album treads on the same rough turf as previous recordings, yet they have improved their songwriting skills with intriguing and provoking lyrics like What Are We Afraid Of? (“Grid locked / Warring fragments / Self-righteousness is quicksand / We’re choking on 100 forms of fear”) and Fused As One (“Illusion comes from far outside / And what’s it really worth?”).
Alone With The Alone begins the proceedings with a 47-second instrumental that almost sends you into the wrong direction, before the thumping riffs of the muscular Bare Witness blast lightning bolts into your ears. You can almost feel Todd Gullion exhaust himself with his aggressive screeching which tries to compete with the thunderous riffing of Lyon.
After listening to this track, in fact the whole album, you would assume that being the lead vocalist in this group is an incredibly laborious job; Gullion has a hell of a weighty noise to compete with, but he approaches it with the same brutality his band mates do – and he does a damn good job of it.
Ghosts has a strong melody with some hefty drumming, while Event Horizon is a much softer affair. But Tightrope is something else – it’s heavier than two tons of bricks, filled with more sweat than a sauna, and is pure rock-solid metal.
Yet, perhaps the most demanding and violent track is Perform The Surgery, which is so fast and sharp that, as Lemmy once said about Mot�rhead‘s music, “it’ll kill your neighbour’s lawn”. In fact, if you open your windows wide enough while your playing this, it’ll kill all your neighbours’ lawn.
Alone With The Alone is an exhaustive, high-charged but immensely enjoyable album with some truly electrifying moments. The whole thing will cause anger bursts of complaints from your parents and is sure to send you – and your mum and dad – to the local drop-in clinic for a prescription for aspirin and some cream for the aching muscle pains in your neck.