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Serious Black: Magic

Magic is the third album from International metal conglomerate Serious Black, who in 2017 are comprised of:

Urban breed (vocals)
Bob Katsionis (guitars)
Dominik Sebastian (guitars)
Mario Lochert (bass)
Jan Vacik (keyboards & orchestra)
Alex Holzwarth (drums & percussion)

Despite the numerous personnel changes that the band have had since their debut just a few short years ago, this 'supergroup' continues to find new blood and soldier on. This latest release is a concept album about, of course, magic, as well as witchcraft, with vocalist Urban Breed acting as the storyteller in the guise of Mr. Nightmist, and if you look at the photos that adorn the CD, Breed is taking something out of King Diamond's playbook somewhat with his appearance (tophat & goatee). His vocals however, as always, are excellent, the veteran singer showing that what he has brought to the table with every band he has been with are some of the best in the business. Comprised of material that floats between power metal, progressive metal, and more melodic rock/AOR styles, Magic is an instantly engaging album, ripe with catchy hooks, heavy riffs, blazing lead guitar solos, symphonic keyboards, and steady rhythms. The soaring hooks of the memorable "Now You'll Never Know" complement the heavier pieces like "Binary Magic" and "Burn! Witches Burn!", while speedier, symphonic power metal cuts "I Can Do Magic" and "The Witch of Caldwell Town" offer up the European vibe so many genre fans crave. However, it's the more textured, progressive tracks like "Skeletons on Parade" and "Mr. Nightmist", as well as the hook laden AOR of "True Love is Blind" that are the real stars on Magic, displaying what a well rounded outfit these guys truly are, and how well they are at crafting instantly engaging yet challenging material.

Though it will take a few listens for it all to sink in fully (this is a pretty long album), Magic is a pretty rewarding experience that will leave you wanting to go back and take the ride over and over again. Hooks galore, plenty of guitar firepower, outstanding vocals, and addicting orchestrations make this an album I can easily recommend.

And, if you pick up the deluxe edition, you get a bonus CD of the bands's set recorded from Prog Power 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, which is chock full of gems from their first two albums. "Castor Skies", "Trail of Murder", "Sealing My Fate", "Akhenaton", "As Daylight Breaks" and many others are played, and though it's not the best sounding live recording you'll ever hear, it's still pretty decent and a great bonus to have.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. With a Tip of the Hat
2. Binary Magic
3. Burn! Witches Burn!
4. Lone Gunman Rule
5. Now You'll Never Know
6. I Can Do Magic
7. Serious Black Magic
8. Skeletons on Parade
9. Mr. Nightmist
10. The Witch of Caldwell Town
11. True Love Is Blind
12. Just Kill Me
13. Newfound Freedom
14. One Final Song

Added: September 23rd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1105
Language: english

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