Reviewed: February 2020
Released: 31-01-2020, AFM Records
Reviewer: Ernie B
‘Suite 226’ tells a complete narrative of a mentally confused man who is torn between his own dreamworld, reality and evil. The protagonist has been held captive for many years in the dismal, cold padded cell number 226, the inhuman condition of the rotten psychiatry driving him insane. In his imagination he is the mighty king who lives in his feudal castle surrounded by courtesans, good food and wine and commands an invincible army. Staggering between illusion and reality, he continues to be drawn into the maelstrom of madness, his life becoming a ride through purgatory accompanied by demons, anxiety attacks and paranoia.
SERIOUS BLACK’s ‘Suite 226’ is the perfect soundtrack for this trip to the place of damnation. Ruthless riffs meet catchy melodies, driven by a manic rhythm section, Urban Breed’s unleashed vocals adding the necessary amount of insanity
Serious Black, a brilliant pun on a brilliant film character. It’s a German/American band formed from the ashes of bands such as Firewind, Rhapsody, Dreamscape & various others. Guitarist Roland Grapow and bassist Mario Lochert hatched the idea of founding a melodic metal band in 2013, and seven years on they came up with ‘Suite 226’, a concept album. The melody is there but now packed out with some serious power metal. To be honest, concept albums not really my thing, however the tracks taken individually quite easily stand up on their own, personal favourites being ‘Fate Of All Humanity’ & ‘Heaven Shall Burn’; I think it’s the Pagan/Heathen in me.
If you’re a fan of melodic power metal, this could be the album for you, it’s growing on me (nearly).