|Release Date||31 January 2020|
European power metal supergroup Serious Black have returned with their fifth full-length album, Suite 226. While there’s noticeable foundation of 90s power at the forefront, the album also brings elements of hair metal as well as a modern heaviness that turns out to actually be really refreshing. With the crisp vocal talents of ex-Bloodbound vocalist Urban breed belting out intense melodies and a band that spits out nothing but energy, you can be damn sure that this is a must-listen.
Suite 226‘s sound is a bit like early/mid Sonata Arctica, but with a bit more variety. It has everything from lively double-time tracks to slower, mournful tunes like ‘Come Home’. The eight-minute finisher, ‘Suite 226’, is also very well done and wraps everything up by re-exploring the album’s many moods. Additionally, there’re a ton of interesting keyboards and retro sfx, which peak in ‘Way Back Home’ and ‘Fate of All Humanity’.
One of my favourite things about the album is how well it flows. Among so many ups and downs, each song leads into the next without any choppiness. As far as songs go, my favourites would have to be ‘We Still Stand Tall’ and ‘When the Stars Are Right’. Both have fucking KILLER choruses and exciting arrangements, which, unsurprisingly, is right up my alley.
This melody-driven, guitar-chugging asskicker of an album is perfect for fans of 80s metal and late 90s/early 00s power metal. It has spirit, heart, and a healthy dose of not-so-in-your-face cheese.
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Stay Metal \m/
07 retro sfx
08 sick PM drive. Some orchestrations. Killer chorus.
09 ballad, retro sfx