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TRACK LIST: 1. Fallen 5:54 2. Tears 4:41 3. Whatever Hate Provides 4:33 4. Cause of Laughter 5:04 5. In the Cold 3:45 6. Take What's Mine 5:36 7. Face of Pain 4:23 8. Searching 4:27 9. Two Seconds to Live 3:58 10. Cry on My Shoulder 6:17 11. Under the Curse 5:10 All tracks: by Symphorce. LINE-UP: Cedric Dupont - lead guitar Markus Pohl - guitar Andy Frank - vocals Sasha Sauer - drums Dennis Wohlbold - bass With: H P Walter - keyboards Produced by Symphorce. Engineered by A. Kohler at "House of Music".
Prolusion. The title "Twice Second" implies a fourth album, though, of course, there is generally no secret that this is the fourth album by Symphorce. For more info on this German band, check Related Links below, though their discography can also be found by reading the first paragraph in the >review of their previous album.
Synopsis. Symphorce's "Twice Second" is a major leap forward from their third album. The band rather noticeably improved all the main, i.e. compositional, performance, and arrangement, aspects of their music and changed some stylistic ones as well. Above all, they've gotten rid of the influences of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and thus, are now getting my congratulations on the matter. Generally, the band sounds now more original and much stronger than before. The album contains eleven songs, and most of them represent either a blend of Techno Metal and Cathedral Metal or pure Cathedral Metal at its best. The more or less appropriate stylistics-related references are the UK (!) band Cathedral and, still, Candlemass, but the nearly constant use of complex measures and stop-to-play movements, giving the album a definite progressive feel throughout, really sets the 'new' Symphorce apart from any comparisons. Besides, with the exception of the 'boundary' tracks of the album, each song features a few instrumental parts, all of which are filled with a wide variety of striking progressive features and are very impressive and intriguing. Unlike the previous one, there is no pomposity on this album; the music is exclusively dramatic in character, and is distinctly hard-edged, complex, and is not for the nervous type. The creations of slow, but very heavy, both dense and tense guitar riffs, Cathedral Metal-related structures and moods, traditionally bordering those of Doom-Metal, dominate everywhere on the album, subjecting the 'accidental' listener to a really powerful charge of hypnotic energy. All nine of the core tracks of the album are excellent, but nevertheless, there are my favorites among them. These are Take What's Mine, Searching, and Cry on My Shoulder (6, 8, & 10), each representing Progressive Cathedral Metal with elements of guitar Art-Rock. However, I still can't understand singer Andy Franck who asserts that the band's name Symphorce, which is indeed a symbiosis of "Symphony" and "Force", is the best expression for their musical direction. There are a couple of excellent synthesizer solos on the album, but they are brief and are scarcely heard, being obscured by the parts of the other instruments. Neither these nor a few slow passages of synthesizer, serving as a background for basic themes, give a symphonic feel to the band's music. You should have keyboardist Mr. Walter to be really involved in the process of making arrangements to warrant what you imply under the band's name.
Conclusion. Not as highly progressive and lushly symphonic as I would like, "Twice Second" is, nevertheless, a very good album; clearly showing that the band doesn't mark time, but instead, assuredly moves towards more and more mature and complicated sound. Recommended to the lovers of Techno Metal and Cathedral Metal. Please only take into account that this music does not concern any of the extreme manifestations of the genre.
VM: February 22, 2004
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