New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: June 4, 2013

Artlantica – ‘Across the Seven Seas’ (SPV)

Artlantica – 'Across the Seven Seas'
SPV Records

Genre: Progressive Metal
Featuring in its ranks three members of Artension, the newly formedArtlantica let loose their debut Across the Seven Seas. Bombastic melodies, mind blowing musicianship and dynamic songwriting are the ingredients that make for one of the best releases of 2013. The songs come first and they have delivered in spades.

Across the Seven Seas finds vocalist John West at his finest. Always displaying a wide vocal range, the passion in his performance here is remarkable. Guest musicians include Helloween drummer Dani Löble and bass legend Steve DiGiorgio. Artlantica succeeds more than Artension because the songwriting is superior. They have released an inspiring debut that should cause shockwaves.

Rating: 4.5
(Dan Drago)

Be’Lakor – ‘Of Breath and Bone’ (Kolony)

Be’Lakor – 'Of Breath and Bone'
Kolony Records

Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Finally receiving it’s deserved North American release, Australia’sBe’Lakor’s 2012 release Of Breath and Bone is full of memorable songwriting and top-notch melodic death metal. Taking a page from Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum, musically the band is incredibly melodic while vocalist George Kosmas annihilates with his guttural vocals.

At just under an hour, all eight songs are layered, complex and take multiple listens to appreciate the genius displayed here. There are an inordinate amount of guitar riffs on display throughout the record and each one takes the listener on an epic journey. The melodic death metal genre is boasting some of the best bands on the metal scene today and now Be’Lakor can add their name to the ever-expanding list.

Rating: 4
(Dan Drago)

Cynthesis – ‘ReEvolution’ (Sensory)

Cynthesis - 'ReEvolution'
Sensory Records

Genre: Progressive Metal
Without relying on the crutch that is screamed vocals, Cynthesis’ssecond album ReEvolution avoids a common error that seriously weakens the worth of progressive metal bands with melodic leanings. Vocalist Erik Rosvold has the same ear for melody and tonality as Dream Theater’s James LaBrie–which may determine how much tolerance you have for this band–and his smooth vocals work well with the knotted, atmospheric riffs and accomplished rhythm section.

However, with that said, there is plenty of room for improvement as the sparse heavier sections are generic, song lengths can be excessive and there is unnecessarily high levels of melodrama at work. Rectify this and Cynthesis may leave a mark.

Rating: 2.5
(Dean Brown)

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