Symphorce

Become Death

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    7
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Most of the European bands with a power metal/prog metal orientation have focused on power metal and prog metal exclusively. They are bands that, although formed in the '90s or 2000s, are hell-bent for the '70s and '80s and faithfully re-create the metal of the past. But Become Death points to the fact that Germany's Symphorce are a different type of metal band; this is a band that, unlike so many of their peers, is largely retro without being exclusively retro. Become Death has many of the influences that are so common among European power metal revival bands, including Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Queensr├┐che -- and certainly, prog metal favorites Dream Theater are an influence as well. But influences from outside power metal and prog metal often find their way to this late 2006 recording, including thrash metal on "Darkness Fills the Sky" and "Ancient Prophecies," alt metal on "Death Has Come" and "No Final Words to Say" and gothic metal on "Inside the Cast." This 48-minute CD is full of shiny, high-tuned guitars that recall the '70s and '80s, but it also has some downtuned, chugging guitars that are more characteristic of '90s and 2000s alt metal. Some power metal and prog metal enthusiasts might wonder if an album that has been influenced by alt metal, thrash metal and gothic metal should even be described as having a power metal/prog metal orientation -- doesn't the very presence of some fast thrash parts, downtuned chugging guitars and goth-minded melodies and keyboards make Become Death something other than a true power metal/prog metal disc? But in fact, power metal and prog metal are the album's main ingredients; alt metal, thrash and gothic metal function as secondary ingredients. Nonetheless, those ingredients add to the intrigue factor, making this enjoyable, if mildly uneven, release one of the less predictable power metal/prog metal recordings of late 2006.

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