Borrowed Time – Borrowed Time (2013)

Borrowed Time

If god made man
In his graven image
Why quarrel with a jealous god?
You know his nature so!

Borrowed Time, Libertine

Borrowed Time are no more, but on this, their sole full length, gave the world an album full of tastefully-crafted heavy metal gems. Unabashedly retro, based in the earliest stirrings of the NWOBHM, Borrowed Time still succeeded in injecting their music with memorability and a very real innocence. With instrumental dexterity, too; minor details and harmonically elegant interplay, reminiscent of Satan albeit in a less confrontational vein, are here to be enjoyed by all fans of an optimistic and literary style of heavy metal.

The lyrics on Borrowed Time are learned and poetic, and this sense of poetry resonates throughout the music, too. 2013 seems to have been a watershed for lyricism in heavy metal; bands like Borrowed Time, Atlantean Kodex, Argus, and others, simultaneously re-stressed the possibilities that heavy metal has always contained as an avenue for intelligent release. Avoiding the corny morass that the rest of metal as a whole finds itself bogged down in, these bands wove an allegorical tapestry with capacity to still fascinate; give these bands a chance and find yourself sitting with booklet open, making references, and pulling up Google. When was the last time any of us did so with this music?

This lyricism that I speak of…it is a strange quality, hard to put a finger on, harder to define. I don’t believe it is specific to sub-genres. Death metal and black metal, certainly, possess it too. What I think it boils down to is an over-arching feel for aesthetics, in all walks of life. It is to know the beautiful, whether it be of flesh and limb, or found in the way colors, words, or indeed lines of music, play with each other. It is a roundedness that seems pre-ordained but only after you’ve seen the peg go into its niche, but ultimately it is to know nature, both inside and without.

Borrowed Time had this playful lyricism and it separated them from the many bands playing olden heavy metal. The Dark Legion Archives have often compared metal to romantic art. Borrowed Time offers full vindication on behalf of the traditional wing of the genre.

My contemporary artist palette
Would be quite contrary
If it deigned to elevate you
To a wood-board Lucretia

And I find no beauty
In what I see here before me
But I know with objectivity
You’ll be a bit of fun for me

Borrowed Time, Pygmalion

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3 Responses to Borrowed Time – Borrowed Time (2013)

  1. neutronhammer says:

    It’s probably down to me listening to this album on repeat for far too long, but for me this one goes down as a modern heavy metal masterpiece, a work of true inspiration.

    What’s you opinion of Primordial?

  2. neutronhammer says:

    Storm before calm, i’d say. It took me quite a few listens to fully grasp their brilliance.

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