Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 9/6/2005
posted on 9/2005 By:
After hitting a homerun with Brainstorm’s Liquid Monster just five months ago, vocalist Andy B Franck returns with Symphorce’s fifth full-length, Godspeed, supplying the only two must-buys for power metal enthusiasts in 2005.
I admit outright that I am one of “those people.” You know, the type that typically refuses to listen to music represented by a cover with a dragon, sword, or combination thereof. And no, I was not born in Wisconsin; distinguishing between the various kinds of cheese has never been my forte. Lucky for me, the members of Symphorce not only forgot to write both a dragon and sword onto their list of demands for their cover artist, but also, bewilderingly enough, skipped the dairy section while shopping for Godspeed’s ingredients and went straight to the butcher.
It’s clear from the first full track, “Everlasting Life,” that the listener can expect more from Symphorce than Franck’s vocals. Guitarists Cedric C Dupond and Markus Pohl might be rooted in the power metal school of riffing with their involvement in Freedom Call and Mystic Prophecy, but Symphorce is a different beast altogether, and they have made the necessary changes flawlessly, adapting a style that has more in common with Nevermore than Blind Guardian. The speed is fast, but the solos are drawn out to greater lengths, with each note receiving the attention it deserves, and although Franck is capable of hitting incredibly high notes vocally, he never does, a strategy that works well in keeping the music respectable rather than laughable. In other words, serious riffing is complimented by serious singing. The choruses benefit most from this method of songwriting, as can be seen most clearly in “Haunting,” the fifth track on an eleven track album. Interspersed between the excellent rhythm and solo work by Dupond and Pohl is a chorus that capitalizes on the built tension by remaining strong and proving that the title of the song reflects the music within.
Not a bad song exists on Godspeed, a fact that should convince anyone remotely interested in power metal these days to buy this album. Yes, I know, the number of people who can claim to like the genre after being dragged through a stagnant decade of boring releases is waning every day, but with Franck’s efforts to inject power metal with some much-needed testosterone a comeback is imminent.
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