Year : 2016
Style : Melodic Power Metal
Country : International
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans + Video
Size : 190 mb
It all happened on a sunny 23rd of August in Spain, when Roland Grapow (ex- Helloween, Masterplan) and Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate, ex - Visions of Atlantis) had a conversation backstage over a cool beverage, talking music business – you know, what musicians usually do.For quite a while, Mario had had the idea of bringing together 6 musical masterminds to form a band floating around his head.After a few initial concerns about igniting various conflicts when getting together in that configuration, eventually Mario was able to convince Roland of his intentions.Back in Munich, Mario immediately contacted his friend of many years, Thomen Stauch (ex- Blind Guardian, Savage Circus), telling him about his idea. Thomen was sold and joined the bunch right away.After that, Jan Vacik (ex- Dreamscape) and Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge) were quick to agree to a collaboration, too. With that, a new band was born, consisting of five highly motivated musicians!Initially, it turned out to be quite a task to bring these full-time musical workaholics together in one studio at the same time. However, against all odds, they got together on short notice in January 2014.Needless to say, when they arrived at the “Dreamsound Studios” Munich, none of the blokes had any idea yet where exactly their musical venture would take them.After a long night, accompanied with numerous anecdotes from the world of music and a solid amount of beers (which, of course, were just “meant to keep the vocal cords smooth”), the band started the songwriting phase!Everyone was on the same wavelength, as if they had been working together in this configuration for decades.The fact that they were able to collectively write songs, without any pressures and in an awesome environment, gave wings to these 5 maniacal musicians and got their juices flowing to create something outstanding.Everyone was literally bubbling with ideas and as soon as 7 days later, they had written eight roughly structured songs, building a foundation for a powerful and melodic Power Metal record!Yet what good can awesome songs do without a voice to carry them? After a few considerations as to a fitting singer for the band, the newly formed group contacted the US-based Swedish expat “Urban Breed” (ex-Tad Morose, ex- Bloodbound, Trail of Murder). After exchanging just a few emails and samples, the answer was loud and clear: “Ok, I’m in, if you really want it! After a short wait, he submitted his first song ideas which fit in with the existing songs seamlessly.These 6 musical warriors are currently working on their first album, which is planned to be released in early 2015, as the band intends to showcase their talent in the very same year on various tours and festivals – LIVE.
Serious Black was conceived in 2014 with the likes of Urban Breed (ex-Bloodbound, ex-Tad Morose, Project Arcadia and others), Mario Lockhert (ex-Visions of Atlantis) Thomem Stauch (Savage Circus, ex-Blind Guardian) and Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) joining forces, to form what we often call a “supergroup”. Their debut album, ‘As Daylight Breaks’, was a very fun and accessible form of power metal and quickly stole the hearts of many euro-power fans, including myself. Being a sucker for Urban Breed–who I think is one of the best power metal vocalists of all time – I was very pleased to hear that this was not just a one-time wonder and Serious Black was in the process of releasing another album with less than a year of wait.There were considerable changes in the lineup, though, as Grapow and Stauch retired from the band, with heavy hitters Bob Katsionis (Constantine, Firewind and 500 other acts) and Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire) filling the (big) shoes in the guitar and drumming departments, respectively. ‘Mirrorworld’ will be available on September 9th via AFM Records, continuing where ‘As Daylight Breaks’ left off musically.The experience begins with a short intro – commonly adopted in power metal bands – followed by the explosive “As Long as I’m Alive”, a song that you may be familiar with, having been released not so long ago as a single. The tune mainly follows the steps of “I Seek No Other Life” as a bombastic fast-paced opener with a catchy melody, which turns it into one of the best tracks of the album. “Castor Skies” slows down but keeps the energetic pace in a lead-driven tune and a melodic chorus. A good follow-up and extremely well executed, especially by Katsionis and Dominik Sebastian providing a good amount of virtuosity. Sadly, the ball drops a bit in “Heartbroken Soul” and “Dying Hearts”; the first one is a power-ballad, and after a few listens becomes sort of disposable, mainly because it breaks the atmosphere and feels like a mechanic song made for commercial purposes. The second one has a rather strange arrangement with Jan Vacik doing the vocal lines at a lower key to match the instruments. Both of them, though, are not weak enough to ruin the whole experience.And then, in another strange turnaround, comes “You’re Not Alone”. I warn you: keep clear of this song if you hate having a chorus stuck in your head like lice on a 5-year old child. Perfect-pace, the right amount of riffs, a very cool solo and an awesome groovy atmosphere fill the track, the best of the bunch by far, in my opinion. The title-track comes next and, along with “Dying Hearts”, is a song that contains a lot of elements from modern AOR bands like Nordic Union or Phantom 5, which I most definitely don’t like, but curiously enough bodes well for the tune. I’m not saying that “Mirrorworld” is an AOR song, but there are things like the distortion of the guitars and the groovy-like construction that add to the modernity of the sound and provide that type of similarity. “State of My Despair” and “The Unborn Never Die” are two quality tracks that close the album in a good fashion, but none of them brings anything spectacular to the table.Great execution, crystal clear production and talented musicians make Serious Black a reliable and fun band to listen. Urban Breed is something special and everything he puts his hands on is worth checking out, and this sort of modern approach to European power metal is luring more and more attention every day. Despite being a very accessible album, ‘Mirrorworld’ suit a specific niche of the heavy metal community. Those who twist their noses to modern types of production and songwriting will most likely steer away from this, while the power metal fan and the more casual listener will get a lot of spins out of it. Serious Black will most definitely not sweep you off your feet with deep, meaningful insights in the form of music, but rest assured that ‘Mirrorworld’ is guaranteed fun, as power metal should be.
Mario Lochert - Bass (Emergency Gate, ex-Visions of Atlantis)
Dominik Sebastian - Guitars (Edenbridge, Shadows' Grey, Thirdmoon, ex-Scargod, ex-In Slumber (live), ex-Olemus (live), ex-Astaroth (live), ex-Mortus, ex-Patunum (live), ex-Nana D. (live), ex-Out of Cage (live), ex-Swanpoem (live))
Jan Vacik - Keyboards (ex-D-Lusion, D-Vision, ex-Dreamscape, ex-Persiflage, ex-Schnupn)
Urban breed - Vocals (Project Arcadia, ex-Bloodbound, ex-Pyramaze, ex-Tad Morose, ex-Trail of Murder, ex-Dark Empire)
Alex Holzwarth - Drums (Dol Ammad, Rhapsody of Fire, ex-Sieges Even, ex-Looking-Glass-Self, ex-Val'Paraiso, Brutal Godz, ex-Avantasia, ex-Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, ex-Paradox, ex-Pergana, ex-Blind Guardian (live))
Bob Katsionis - Guitars (Bob Katsionis, Constantine, Firewind, Ioannis Anastassakis, Outloud, Teo Ross, ex-Encomium, ex-Imaginery, ex-Retrospect, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Zion, ex-Mirage, ex-Skyward, ex-Acid Death, ex-Casus Belli, ex-Karmic Link, ex-Nightfall, ex-Perpetual, ex-Deviser (live), ex-Septicflesh (live), ex-Star Queen, ex-Fatal Morgana, ex-Jade Lizard, ex-Lighthunters)
01. Breaking The Surface 01:52
02. As Long As I'm Alive 04:00
03. Castor Skies 04:24
04. Heartbroken Soul 03:45
05. Dying Hearts 05:02
06. You're Not Alone 03:41
07. Mirrorworld 05:02
08. Emotional Blackmail (Bonus Track) 04:07
09. The Life That You Want (Bonus Track) 04:28
10. State Of My Despair 04:28
11. The Unborn Never Die 03:52
12. This Machine Is Broken 04:35 (Bonus Track)
13. Hello Moon 04:12 (Bonus Track)
14. Goodbye My Angel 04:33 (Bonus Track)
15. I Show You My Heart (Acoustic Version) 05:13 (Bonus Track)
16. Sealing My Fate (Acoustic Version) 03:18 (Bonus Track)
+ Video "Castor Skies" (Official Video)
Please my link you can´t spread further and don´t upload to other hostings!!!
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