Release DetailsLABEL Nightmare
RELEASED ON 5/3/2004
Where Memories Combine
posted on 12/2004 By:
Dark, progressive power metal probably isn't the first that comes to mind when you think about Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Actually, it probably isn't even the hundredth. However, with Cea Serin's impressive full length debut, Where Memories Combine, that might be subject to change.
Playing what the band would like to call, "Mercurial Metal", what Cea Serin actually churn out is some pretty riff laden progressive power metal steeped in dark atmosphere. Aided by a strong, consistent production, the songs flow along in a subtle manner that will please fans of less aggressive forms of metal. However, they kick up the velocity just enough when necessary so as to not totally alienate those in need of a slightly more jarring experience.
Keyboards and samples make their presence felt throughout Where Memories Combine to aide in developing that dark atmosphere, and as is usually the case with each of these elements, they are best served in moderation. As a segue to the intro track, "Embracing the Absence", the keys and sound-bytes fit appropriately and set the stage well for the bouncy melodic riffing of Keith Warman. However, when the band tries for a similar effect halfway through the same track, the effects are more distracting and would lose the listener, save not for the reemergence of some dazzling riff work via Warman. This is a theme that will reoccur throughout the album; when Allen shines Cea Serin sparkles. Unfortunately, during the extended periods of experimentation, such as the tap dancing solo placed right in the middle of "The End of Silence", Cea Serin go from sounding tight and gifted to overambitious and misguided. Fortunately, these bouts of artistic over indulgence are the exception rather than the rule on Where Memories Combine, as the band seems to be aware of when self gratify, and when to get back on task. This mindset is also apparent in the vocal performance of J. Lamm. While occasionally showing an unwelcome flare for the dramatic, Lamm manages to hit all his notes and even mix in some mid range screams without letting his voice overpower any of the other instruments. Other prog/power vocalists would do well to study Lamm's performance on Where Memories Combine.
This is an almost thoroughly enjoyable release. A few minor missteps may have caused me to smirk at the band's compositional forethought, but when all is said done, Cea Serin's A-game certainly outweighs their scraps. This comes with a high recommendation to fans of Evergrey, Dream Theater, and later-day Angel Dust.
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