Tuesday, 20 January 2015

SERIOUS BLACK - As Daylight Breaks (2015)

Genre - power metal / melodic metal
Label - AFM Records

Track listing:
01. I Seek No Other Life
02. High And Low
03. Sealing My Fate
04. Temple Of The Sun
05. Akhenaton
06. My Mystic Mind
07. Trail Of Murder
08. As Daylight Breaks
09. Setting Fire To The Earth
10. Listen To The Storm
11. Older And Wise

The new year is upon us, and we already have a contender for 'best album of 2015' with "As Daylight Breaks", the debut album from SERIOUS BLACK to be released tomorrow, January 16th.
This is a new band – not just a one-off project – formed by some very familiar names in the melodic /power / progressive metal scenes. Serious Black features guitarist Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), drummer Thomen Stauch (Savage Circus, ex-Blind Guardian), bassist Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate, ex-Visions of Atlantis), guitarist Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge), keyboardist Jan Vacik (ex-Dreamscape) and vocalist Urban Breed (Trail of Murder, ex-Bloodbound).
The collaboration between Grapow – one of the best songwriters in melodic metal – and Breed, one of the nest new vocalists in genre, alone should be enough to get most fans’ attention, but Serious Black is more than just these two individuals, and "As Daylight Breaks" doesn’t simply sound like a Masterplan album with a different vocalist.
The songwriting was collaborative, so you can hear elements of each member’s past bands on this album. Overall, the band found a perfect meeting point between power metal and melodic metal with this album.
And as happens lately with these genres, all is very accessible and quite catchy, reaching wide audiences.
"As Daylight Breaks" is just a fantastic melodic album all around.
Stauch and Lochert keep things fast and heavy, but between Grapow’s melodic lead guitar work and Breed’s powerful soaring vocals this album is all about huge melodies.
Breed has been something of a journeyman of late, but he fits so very well here. So much so that it feels like Serious Black is where he truly belongs. Having Grapow – a very capable singer in his own right – on backing vocals adds even more layered harmonies.
It’s hard to call out specific songs when the whole album is this good, but if you’re looking for an idea of Serious Black’s overall sound, you’ll want to sample leadoff single “Sealing My Fate”.
Also remarkable are “I Seek No Other Life”, “Akhenaton” or the powerful “Setting Fire to the Earth”. A proof that Serious Black has a very commercial approach is the fact that title track “As Daylight Breaks” is a ballad (and a wonderful one).
Aside perhaps from the brief instrumental “Temple of the Sun”, you won’t find a forgettable song on this CD.
If you're a fan of melodic and catchy 'new' power metal, particularly bands like Masterplan, Avantasia, Allen-Lande, etc, "As Daylight Breaks" is your first must-have album of 2015.
This is melodic metal magic, and with any luck this will be the first of many albums from Serious Black.

Rating - 9/10

The Players:
Urban Breed (Project Arcadia ex-Bloodbound) - Vocals
Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) - Guitars
Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge, Shadows' Grey) - Guitars
Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate) - Bass
Jan Vacik (D-Vision, ex-Dreamscape) - Keyboards
Thomen Stauch (Savage Circus, ex-Blind Guardian) - Drums

No comments:

Post a Comment