I love to play Scrabble, but when it comes to doing puzzles, I stink. I don't own a crystal ball, though I once had a Magic 8-Ball (when I found out it lied to me, I threw it out). Now that I have admitted my weaknesses, I must exclaim: I have cracked the code and seen the future! New Jersey based American power meal band CypherSeer has a great new CD and the world shall know it as Origins.
CypherSeer combine the heaviness found in American power metal with some of the finesse of their European counterparts. Fans of Iced Earth, In Flames, and Nevermore will find Origins to their liking. It's heavy, fast, and has some technical flare while never sacrificing it's melodic heart. The songs on this album flow nicely from beginning to end. Though it doesn't happen often, there is a little bit of redundancy, with a couple of songs running together with others. Don't let that deter you from buying this though, because there is a lot of depth in the songs on here. "Soul Sacrifice" has a heavy verse and chorus and a fast solo section that features some nice keyboard soloing and some great weedily-deedily guitar shedding. The debut single "Dying Force" is classic power metal with a touch of prog while "The Curse" has the bone crunch of something Nevermore might put out. I do not not want to create any sort of impression that CypherSeer is nothing but speed, because they are not. The tempo actually varies a fair bit.
The vocals are quite praiseworthy, and some modern death styles are added in occasionally to enhance the background and harmonies. While I love this, it may put off some purists. If it does, they're posers. The musicianship is very nice here as well. For the most part, the guitar does the leg work and solos while the keyboards add a touch of ambience to the music, much in a way you'd expect from a Kamelot release.
The number of comparisons that I've made here will hopefully give you an idea of what Cypherseer are like, and that they stand in good company. This is a really good band, and Origins has found a way into regular rotation on my power metal playlist.
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
SpaceKev's Rating: 8.25 out of 10