Nima : Bloody Times is a project around the German gentleman Simon Pfundstein. In 2016 the debut The Fire Of Immortality was released, on which he, except for the drums, had played all instruments and also did the vocals. The heavily Manowar-inspired, epic heavy metal was certainly not bad, but did not have that X-Factor to lift the album above average.
Earlier this month the man came with his second long player, On A Mission. On this record he has gotten help from a series of guest musicians including ex-Iced Earth drummer Raphael Saini (who was also on the debut), ex-Iced Earth vocalist John Greely (who made his mark on that bands Night Of The Stormrider) and Ross The Boss Friedman, who is of course best known as co-founder and original guitarist of Manowar. The musical path has remained unchanged, and old-fashioned, epic heavy metal is still the law. With Friedmans contribution and his signature sound and style, the Manowar influences are even stronger. In addition, Greelys voice naturally provides the necessary comparisons with Iced Earth. The album starts off strongly with Alliance and Fort Sumter, who with their strong, pounding riffs and rhythms put their neck muscles to work hard. Die In A Hole is a bit more in the vein of Grave Digger and is also a catchy rammer.
From the fourth track, a new version of Curse Of Genevieve of the debut, on the whole drops somewhat. Not that the songs are bad, but I miss the aforementioned X-factor. Each song contains interesting riffs and vocals, but lacks that memorability that the first three songs have. In general, the material has difficulty to get on the roll and does not have the necessary means to keep you focused and interested from start to finish, and if you do not pay attention the songs will pass you by quickly.
Do not get me wrong though, because none of this means that On A Mission is a bad album. Quality is absolutely present and the record contains enough pleasurable moments. There is also a huge step forward in songwriting and arranging compared to the first album, and also on vocal matters Greely is a huge asset to the total picture. Also sound-technically the album is in a much better condition than its predecessor and all in all we certainly have a respectable epic heavy metal album. It is just by no means a highlight.