Album Reviews

Serious Black – Suite 226 Review

AFM Records

Release: 14 February 2020

 

Line Up:

Urban Breed- Vocals
Ramy Ali- Drums
Mario Lochert- Bass
Dominik Sebastien- Guitar

 

Tracklist:

01 – Let Me Go | 02 – When The Stars Are Right | 03 – Solitude Étude | 04 – Fate Of All Humanity | 05 – Castiel | 06 – Heaven
Shall Burn | 07 – Way Back Home | 08 – We Still Stand Tall | 09 – Come Home | 10 – Suite 226 |

 

It is hard to believe that the first month of 2020 is almost over and this is my first review of the year. After dealing with some medical stuff I’m finally back at it. My first selection for the new year is a band I have been fond of for some time. Since their first album, I have enjoyed the music of Serious Black. Their debut was such a powerful starter for them, which was followed up closely by two more great albums plus an acoustic release. After a long pause, the band is back with the concept album Suite 226, which feels like more of a return to the debut, while at the same time showing the band having not just matured and tightened up but come into their own.

The concept swirls around a man locked up in an insane asylum, torn between his confused mind and reality. I found it to be very intriguing as someone that has spent the better part of his adult life working with the mentally ill. I’m constantly searching for movies, books, and music that deal with the subject, whether it is taken from a more realistic standpoint or complete fantasy. Suite 226 is locked in somewhere in the middle. The story is fantastical, but at the same time, the words touch on some of the most harrowing bits about mental illness: loneliness, despair, and confusion. Adding to this great story is some extremely catchy songs. Serious Black, since its inception, has been more of a “happy” metal band, wherein their music has a much more positive feel. The new songs are still quite catchy, but they have taken on a seemingly more serious tone in many respects; perhaps in deference to the subject matter. The biggest advantage of this album is the fact that even if you don’t give a fig about the storyline, the songs are still quite compelling. Soaring riffs and the brilliant voice of Urban Breed, showing yet again he is one of the premier vocalists of the metal world.

Serious Black is back and has unleashed a fantastic album in Suite 226. A tougher Serious Black is just as good as the happy. With the combined musical skills of each member and a great set of songs, it’s no wonder this album is so good. This is a strong start for the year. I’ll be curious to see where this one stands by the end of it.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

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