Timewarp is the debut solo album from German guitarist Christian Muenzner, who is perhaps better known as being guitarist with the technical death metal band Obscura and formerly also of Necrophagist. On Timewarp Muenzner continues to produce some heavy and technical metal, but sans vocals. The album also features a number of guest musicians.
The style of music heard on Timewarp isn’t going to be anything new to those who have delved into instrumental metal music. The tracks are both progressive and technical, albeit generally less so than what I heard on the recent Obscura album that Muenzner was a part of, but there’s enough of it there to keep the album from being exclusively a shred-fest. His lead guitar work is spot on for a release of this nature and the progressive tendencies keep the tracks from getting stale and repetitive. It is one of the more enjoyable instrumental metal albums I’ve come across for some time and I’m pleased to find that unlike some other instrumental metal artists of the moment he steers clear of falling into the ‘djent’ scene. Instead what we get is closer to progressive and power metal sounds with the odd addition of a neoclassical influence, something heard best in parts of Dawn of the Shred.
Timewarp is a pretty lengthy album, just a bit too long for an instrumental album for my personal tastes but that’s just me not getting on with instrumental as well as I’d sometimes like. I’ve enjoyed this release a fair bit however and Christian Muenzner certainly shows that he’s worth his salt as a guitarist here, and I’m pleased to report that although Timewarp doesn’t exactly offer up anything radically new, even being predictable to a point, it does stand out as one of the best instrumental metal albums I’ve heard with every track containing its own identity, which isn’t something I can say for all instrumental albums I’ve heard. All things considered Christian Muenzner’s debut is certainly a very solid instrumental effort with the over eight minute piece Wastelands standing out as the album’s true gem, although there’s several tracks that give it a run for its money.
Overall you’ve got to really enjoy your instrumental, especially lead guitar work, to find much of interest in an album such as Timewarp. Christian Muenzner has produced an impressive album though and I’m sure those who really enjoy this style will lap it up.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 8.0/10)