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Released: 2012, SC Productions
Three albums in and Quebec, Canada’s Southern Cross has yet to decide on a sound. For followers of the band, the new ablum FROM TRAGEDY places the band firmly in the classic prog metal subgenre, abandoning the Euro-power metal style of the debut. That is not to say that there are not occasional nods to the past, particularly in the keyboards and select speedy palm mute chugs. Mostly though, what has been delivered is a mid-paced and highly listenable brand of progressive metal that references half a dozen of the leading bands in this genre.
Lead off track “Tightrope” is the expected self-important bloat fest, complete with trigonometric time changes, and a multitude of brief riffs. Throw in about 45 seconds of black metal vocals in the middle for color (they do this in a few other places as well) and you have a fairly standard and soul-less Dream Theater song. Thankfully, deeper listening reveals a mellower and less mathematical band than presented on “Tightrope”. Chief points of reference would be some of Enchant’s sweeping and relaxing music with vocals that confidently support the dreamy style that the band has adopted. While keyboards are prominent, particularly on “Between The Lines”, guitars are allowed to breath and occasionally pummel. Most refreshing of all though is the band reigning in the pomposity and electing for a few compact songs that reference some conventional structures rather than endless demonstrations of technical prowess.
With seven songs clocking in less than 50 minutes, FROM TRAGEDY is an album that can actually be absorbed in a few listens. Granted it is a brooding and melancholy slab of music, perhaps too relaxing and light footed in places. Nevertheless, FROM TRAGEDY is a worthy listen for any progressive metal fan and stands as a shining example of how a band can be progressive and experimental while retaining the ability to write songs that actually sound like songs and not equations.
02. Between The Lines
04. Invisible Roads
05. Reaching The Bottom
07. Violento [bonus]
David Lizotte: Lead vocal / Guitars
Olivier Perrier-Maurel: Guitars / Back vocals
Jean-François Boudreault: Bass / Back vocals
Antoine Guertin: Drums / Synths / Back vocals
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