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CEA SERIN


CEA SERIN


"The Vibrant Sound of Bliss and Decay"

By Dark Starr
 
For those who only listen to prog and don’t enjoy metal, surely this will feel like metal. Those like myself who enjoy both of those types of music will recognize that while there are metal trappings here, this stretches well beyond those boundaries and lands as metallic progressive rock. It’s also an awesome album. The target demographic is probably fans of bands like Dream Theater, as this is a lot like that. For prog fans who can live with some definite heavy metal mixed into their music, this is highly recommended.
              
The opener is titled “Holy Mother” and it fires in as an extreme metal. Keyboard sounds temper it as the introduction continues. Then it gets more melodic. Dream Theater is a valid reference point. Extreme metal vocals enter as the cut turns more toward pure metal. As it works forward some sections land more in the prog end of the equation while at other times it’s more metal. It’s all powerful and compelling, though. It has a lot of changes built into it. That’s for certain. The instrumental section is crunchy, but very much a progressive rock jam. It’s also pretty great. This kind of mix of sounds really does serve as the idea for much of the album.
              
Other songs that call to mind Dream Theater include “The Illumination Mask” “The Victim Cult” and “What Falls Away.” “Ice,” though is the odd man out here. It is mellower and purely progressive rock. It’s a balladic number that’s pretty and also moody. The keyboard elements are great, and the vocal performance is powerful. Acoustic guitar soloing is a great touch.
                              
The closer is the aforementioned “What Falls Away.”  At 20 minutes in length, it is a really epic piece. Piano starts it and holds it as orchestral elements come over the top. Slow moving and a little creepy in tone, this holds it for the about the first two and a half minutes. From there it gets a more energized, but still melodic, progressive rock treatment. There are definitely fusion elements and it still lands on the mellower side of the spectrum. The vocals come in over that backdrop. After the five minute mark, it screams out into more of a powered up progression. This is still definitely progressive rock, though – not metal. By around the seven minute mark it does get some metal in the mix. That is mostly from the vocals, but the music is crunchy, too. The cut keeps evolving, though. It moves out into more melodic prog with hints of fusion after that. The melodic vocals are quite potent on this mellower movement. By around the thirteen minute mark, it has gotten more crunch in the mix. Then, though, it drops back to the melodic to continue. Some spoken stuff is heard over the top as the cut continues to evolve. After the fifteen minute mark, more crunch appears. This thing just keeps shifting and changing, though and Dream Theater is definitely a valid reference point. It’s a really powerhouse jam, and I love some of the keyboard soloing in particular. The timing changes and melodic shifts are great. They bring it back out into the song proper after that and it keeps growing as they continue. There is a crescendo before the 19 minute mark, and piano with the sounds of a playground (I think) take over from there. This is worth the price of admission all by itself.