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TRACK LIST: 1. Cubozor's Gossip 0:53 2. Evil Cream 6:08 3. The Engine Cries (Superscreamrise) 6:39 4. Pandora 5:11 5. Velvet Cigarette 3:21 6. Your Necklace of Bites 5:30 7. Ways Out 9:22 8. Where's My Mom? 3:43 9. Metal Builders 4:51 10. Insane God 5:37 LINEUP: Eric Pariche - vocals Phil Vermont - guitars Daniel Sminiac - guitars Stephane Lescarbotte - bass Martin Mabire - drums with: Boris Branilovic - keyboards Nicolas Goulay - keyboards
Prolusion. French band SUPERSCREAM has a history that goes way back to 2010, and since the onset they have sought to include inspirations from a wide range of hard rock and metal bands into their music, spanning from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Guns n Roses to Dream Theater and Rage Against the Machine. "The Engine Cries" is their second studio album, and was self released in 2017.
Analysis. While there are many metal bands out there that explore various more or less niche segments of this diverse type of music, not too many opt to mix up genre inspirations as much as this French band does. That being said, on this album the greater majority of the material they explore does reside within an progressive metal general context, and for that I suspect we should be happy. The few detours the band does take into more generic metal passages is by far the least interesting of the lot, at least in my book, with a track like Velvet Cigarette standing out as the arguably least satisfying of these to encounter. That track is an exception however, as the greater majority of the material elsewhere is well worth taking note of. I do find this band to be at their most charming when they hone in on the Dream Theater school of progressive metal myself. When done right, the combinations of elegant riff cascades and floating keyboard textures sounds really good, especially when you add some bite and darkness to the guitar aspects of it. The keyboards may have a bit too minor of a role here for the strict purists, but it works really well in my book, and the standalone guitar driven passages aren't hard on the ears either - to put it that way. The band do play around a bit with exotic rhythms and guitar details too, at times to very good effect as well, and in one case we get a slight Led Zeppelin feel to one of the songs due to this very aspect, and then the classic tune Kashmir is the one referenced be it by accident or design. And while perhaps not the most superior of the compositions at hand, the band also segues out to explore a combination of jazz and metal here that reminds me ever so slightly about Diablo Swing Orchestra. While perhaps not an important detail as such, it does showcase that the range of this band from a stylistic point of view possibly is a lot wider that what is showcased on this CD. It'll be interesting to see if the band opts to explore this particular blend of music more in the future. It is also nice to encounter a strong and well balanced vocalist, a singer with the quality to elevate the total experience by his delivery. He does venture out into wailing metal screams on an occasion or two, but otherwise his delivery and choice of tone and power is just about impeccable. All in all this sums up into quite a fine album, with only a couple of missteps slightly jarring an otherwise pleasantly engaging experience.
Conclusion. Fans of progressive metal have been spoilt by choice for the last couple of decades, and Superscream is another fine band those with a passion for this type of music needs to take note of. A bit more eclectic in expression than many other bands that more or less explore progressive metal in a Dream Theater vein, and a band that score high on quality on all departments as well. A couple of weak tracks doesn't detract all that much, as this in sum is a quality example of classic era progressive metal.
Progmessor: August 29th, 2018
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