Symphonic metal does give me cause for concern as a genre. I’ve commented before that it’s too easy to stray into ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber had he rebelled’ territory. Thankfully, Seraph in Travail has managed to remain aloof from these criticisms.
The second full-length release from the Philadelphia gaggle has definitely seen them sharpen their talons somewhat, even if the founding guitarist has taken a bit of time off from the band. In case you need a yardstick, I don’t think anyone can deny the COF parallels, but they’re a step up in terms of sophistication, like a Cradle-for-grown-ups.
The precision and technicality on tracks like “Temptress Suicide” really do make you sit up and listen, with interludes and breaks that are tighter than a duck’s ringpiece. The clean singing is nicely positioned and doesn’t sound mawkish, as can (in my irrelevant opinion) often be the case, and the guitar solos are beautifully phrased. My only criticism of it would be that there’s a slight lack of variation throughout. What they do, they do very well, I’m just not sure they wouldn’t benefit from doing something else too…
I’m nit-picking, really, this is bona fide album, and definitely one to tickle the eardrums of those who like things both a bit dark and a bit histrionic. Enjoy!