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Sign X: Back To Eden

Rising from the ashes of the veteran melodic hard rock/metal band Châlice, Sign X brings us their sophomore album Back To Eden, a largely enjoyable romp consisting of crunchy and cinematic rock/metal numbers and some fantastic individual performances from the Teutonic foursome (plus some guests).

While it's a fairly broad term, I bet you have a fairly good idea of what "melodic hard rock/metal" sounds like if you are reading this review. Probably something akin to Avantasia's newer material or basically any band off of Frontiers records for example. Sign X are certainly in that wheelhouse, with hard rocking beats and soaring melodic vocals that never quite push the gas to the floor and let it rip into full on heavy metal, but come pretty damn close at times (songs such as "Frozen Hell" and "World on Fire" for example). There's not that underlying power metal atmosphere or speed that Avantasia delivers (closer to a Pink Cream 69 if anything), but there's still plenty to like here.

Vocalist Sebastian Zierof sounds spectacular. His lower register moments are crystal clear and melodious, and his highs are not unlike a fusion of Michael Kiske and Ronnie Romero. If you're already a fan of this kind of music, that should certainly get you to raise an eyebrow, and for good reason. This guy's the real deal. Some of the lyrics and melody lines can be iffy or just awkward at times, but as far as pure talent and technical ability, there's nothing to complain about there. The same largely applies to the instrumentalists. There's nothing outrageously flashy, but there's plenty of rock solid keyboards all over the place and some nifty bass lines from time to time too. Can't really find a ton to complain about.

The songs themselves aren't too shabby either. There's a few tracks that are certainly better than the rest ("Life Goes On", the aforementioned "Frozen Hell" and "World on Fire") if a bit samey. There's a hefty helping of melodramatic piano ala Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which can be grating but your milage may very depending on how tolerant of the whole "Broadway showtunes with a flying V" vibe you are. Back To Eden does, however, have a certain instant familiarity to it that's comforting. Largely well written and with vocals that will keep you listening until the end, BTE is certainly a worthy listen if you are into this kind of undeniably Euro hard rock.

1. Back to Eden
2. Frozen Hell
3. Forever King
4. 3 Seconds
5. History Will Tell
6. Life Goes On
7. Into the Unknown
8. Afterlife
9. World On Fire
10. Jump 'n' Run

Added: May 14th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 619
Language: english

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