For a band that attracted a justifiable ‘progressive’ tag after dropping their remarkable debut album And Yet It Moves a couple of years back, it’s interesting – or disturbing, depending on your standpoint – to see feisty Danes Timechild making virtually no progress at all since that first contact in 2021.

Instead of spreading their wings too far, y’see, the band seems – to these battered old ears at least – to have opted to refine what they’ve already achieved. You won’t find me complaining about that at all – Dioesque stridency and Alice In Chains-styled fragility will always be welcome in my ears – and the result of this is an album that’s every bit as fulfilling and interesting as it’s forerunner.

Hands of Time throws in a bit of Budgie-inspired intensity for added fun, but for the most part it’s business as usual here as the band continues to mine a rich vein of influence that stretches from the late sixties, through the seventies all the way to the early nineties, in the process delivering music that is, well… just bloody marvellous, really.

And whilst it’s easy to amuse yourself by playing spot the band throughout the record, it’s also useful to remember that all the bands Timechild reference were absolute world beaters in their own right back in the day. Anyone with ten minutes to spare and a modicum of nous could take up the cudgels and make up a bit of noise – but it takes a lot of talent to roll Soundgarden, Crosby, Stills Nash and Young and Rainbow into one song and still retain your own identity, as these boys do time and again, and with especial fire and brimstone on standout cuts Call of The Petrichor or the utterly mesmeric Buried In Autumn

And that, I guess, is the bottom line – the level of talent involved here is massive, and, now that the band has staked it’s claim and marked out it’s territory over two very good albums indeed, the opportunity arises for them to take the next step and really establish their own brand on album number three. On the evidence of the best tracks here, it’s hard to see them failing.

Blossom & Plague releases on September 1st.