Cypher Seer - Awakening day 4/5

Reviewed: 6-1-07


1. V.666
2. Awakening day
3. Pieces of my beginning
4. Malachi's reign
5. Act of desperation
6. Walk through hell
7. On chained down
8. Nocturnal apparition
9. Haunted visions
10. Final encounter

While most metal fans have been impressed with Sentinel Steel's many classic reissues, it's the label's introduction of new bands that I've enjoyed the most. Specifically, the debuts of both Legend Maker and Onward grabbed me right from the start and are CDs I listen to quite regularly. Cypher Seer is the next new band through Sentinel Steel, and I must say, this is possibly the best new band they've signed.

The band began under the name Malakis Reign, but they never passed the demo stage as such and changed their name to Cypher Seer just prior to the release of their full-length debut 'Awakening day'. I must mention right away that the CD features vocalist Michael Grant, who is also the vocalist of the previously mentioned Legend Maker and Onward. This is surely no coincidence and it's now obvious that Denis Gulbey (Sentinel Steel owner, plus the CD's executive producer) and Michael are good buddies. It's no mystery as to why the 2 have hooked up so many times.... Denis has always been very professional and easy to work with, while Michael has an outstanding voice that any label owner would be more than happy to obtain.

To me, Cypher Seer's debut 'Awakening day' is the perfect example of a well balanced CD. Every song is catchy as hell, with some of the best guitar work to enter the genre this year. The guitars are powerful too, sometimes reaching the heaviness/crunchiness of bands like Iced Earth, Brainstorm, Mystic Prophecy and Tad Morose. Yeah, expect one killer riff after another and lots of spectacular solos, sure to please the most hard-to-please metalhead out there! But in addition to some awesome guitar work, 'Awakening day' contains a good amount of keyboards, and in my mind, they fit the music perfectly and are an element I really enjoy. The keys are mostly in the backgound, but a few solos pop up here and there and I'm reminded a little of both Pyramaze and Lanfear. Michael's clear and soaring vocals put the final touch on the CD, and I must admit, this just might be his best performance to date.

As for tempo, the songs are mostly of the upbeat and catchy variety, with flashes of speed, and there are no ballads. I like every single song, as 'Awakening day' is a really consistent CD that leaves nothing to desire. My only complaint would be the spoken words in the middle of track 5 "Act of desperation" (discussing personal hygiene), which I feel are completely out of place on this otherwise excellent CD. So picking this CD up as soon as possible is highly recommended, as Sentinel Steel's got a winner here!




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