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Released: 2000, Noise Records
In "most improved" category, the award goes to Symphorce. Don't get me wrong, their 1999 release Truth To Promises was good, but the slight flaws found on that CD have been overcome on their new release Sinctuary. Since their last CD was recorded, the band has replaced two of it's members. Gone are Mike Hammer (bass) and Stef Bertolla (guitars). They have been replaced by Dennis Wohlbold (bass) and Cedric Dupond (guitar). Both changes are for the better.
Major improvements have been made in the vocal, guitar and recording sound. Vocally Andy B. Franck sounds somewhat like a cross between Bruce Dickinson and Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin from Jag Panzer. Musically I would place this alongside Jag Panzer's Thane to the Throne and Bruce Dickinson's solo CD The Chemical Wedding. If you liked those two albums then there is no reason for you not to be into this CD. The guitar sound is much beefier and the solos are more intense on this CD as compared to the previous Symphorce CD. The other big improvement is in the overall production of the CD. Their last one sounded a bit "plastic" and over-produced. This time there is a rawer/heavier edge and the drum sound real. All twelve of the tracks on this CD have something to offer. The CD's first four tracks are my favorites. They are "Eye of Horus", "Holy Sin" (this one is stylistically the closest to the material on Jag Panzer's Thane to the Throne), "Until The Last" (another great memorable chorus), and "Blackened Skies." One of my favorite riffs on the CD is the intro to to "Reveal The Secrets." It's fast, technical sounding and melodic.
Make no doubt about it, vocalist Andy B. Franck is the mastermind behind Symphorce. He is credited with writing almost the entire album both lyrically and musically! Not only does he front Symphorce, but this ex-Ivanhoe vocalist is also in another power metal band called Brainstorm! If you like your power metal with a hard aggressive edge then take a listen to this band - musically and lyrically this is quality metal.
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