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Symphorce: Godspeed

Fronting two bands can't be easy - especially when both are worthy contenders in the overcrowded melodic power-metal arena. In the case of Symphorce, vocalist Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm) and lead guitarist Cedric "Cede" Dupont (Freedom Call) hold down other full-time gigs. But you wouldn't know it listening to Godspeed, Symphorce's solid fifth album, which contains a lethal arsenal of sing-along anthems and heavy melodies. Symphorce hasn't released a dud album (including hard-to-find early titles like 1999's Truth to Promises and 2000's Sinctuary), but Godspeed practically matches 2002's blistering Phorceful Ahead note for glorious note, gang chorus for rousing gang chorus.

After the 33-second ambient instrumental opener "Foresight," Symphorce storms into "Everlasting Life," a roiling swirl that easily rivals any of the band's strongest songs. Other tracks, such as "Nowhere" and "The Mirrored Room," pack momentum and staying power, while "Your Cold Embrace" finds Franck half singing and half speaking in a surprising nod to Megadeth. The only time Symphorce comes close to slowing things down is the closer, "Crawling Walls for You" - a power ballad in every sense of the word.

As he does in Brainstorm - particularly on that band's monstrous Liquid Monster, released earlier this year - Franck's powerful voice echoes the deeper ranges of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford while expanding its own reach. It's damn near perfect for this kind of material, which exudes all of the majestic heaviness of Symphorce's European peers but without all of the pomp, pretension or manic tempos. These guys will make their American live debut at ProgPower USA VI in Atlanta in mid-September, on the heels of Brainstorm's show-stopping set at last year's festival. It'll be tough to top that one, but something tells me Symphorce will…


Track Listing:
1) Forsight
2) Everlasting Life
3) No Shelter
4) Nowhere
5) Haunting
6) Black Water
7) Wounds Will Cast Within
8) Your Cold Embrace
9) Without A Trace
10) The Mirrored Room
11) Crawling Walls For You

Added: October 28th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Symphorce Web Site
Hits: 1824
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Symphorce: Godspeed
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-28 07:24:50
My Score:

Melodic power metal, more melodic power metal, and then some. That's what you get from Symphorce on their fifth CD release Godspeed. I'll admit, my lone experience with this band was on their 2000 release Sinctuary, and I was less then impressed, as the band just seemed to be doing nothing that separated them from the rest of the power metal pack. Along with Andy Franck's other band Brainstorm, and especially on the breakthrough Liquid Monster album, Symphorce have created the jewel that now elevates them as a band to really be taken seriously. Godspeed is groovy, chunky, intelligent power metal. No tales of dragons here, no non-stop barrages of double bass drums, this is well written and well executed metal music featuring solid guitar work, tight rhythms, and Franck's ever improving vocals. While earlier in his career Franck's singing had a much rougher approach, the last few years has seen him taking on a more powerful and melodic tone, at times sounding like a cross between Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, yet with that slightest bit of German accent he has created his own sound.

There's plenty of winners here on this chugger, like "Wounds Will Lust Within", the raging "Everlasting Life", the crunchy "Your Cold Embrace", and the prog-tinged "Crawling Walls For You". Credit must also be given to lead guitarist Cedric Dupont, who can not only shred, but lays down plenty of tonal colors and themes throughout the album with rhythm guitarist Markus Pohl. This is all around enjoyable stuff, all housed within a great booklet designed by none other Travis Smith, who is quickly becoming one of the most sought after artists in the metal and prog genres.



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