Cyclophonia – Impact Is Imminent
Impact is Imminent
Cyclophonia are a brand spanking new heavy/ power metal act busting out of black metal land (that would be Norway). Here we have their debut release Impact Is Imminent, complete with excellent artwork which would have Dol Ammad turning green with envy. At merely eight tracks and just over half an hour, Impact Is Imminent is quite the scant offering, but let’s take a look at what delights Cyclophonia serves up here.
Are keyboards too wimpy for you? Do you happen to be one of those “keep the flower out of my power” guys/gals? Well this might just be the album for your heavy/power needs. Cyclophonia cut the sleeves from their flowery blouses and proudly oil up their muscles Hulk Hogan style, delivering a hard edged brand of power metal that isn’t too far away from the likes of Iron Savior or even Iced Earth. There are also some early – mid period Blind Guardian nuances in the riffing, as well as a few nods to the glory days of the US power metal scene.
For a debut release on a relatively small label, this sounds pretty damn good; the production is equal amounts of 80’s glory à la Keeper Of The Seven Keys and later 90’s early 00’s à la Hammerfall. The guitar sound is reminiscent of the German school and the rhythm section is very well serviceable. If I were to pick flaws, it would be that the cymbals lack certain oomph, but that isn’t anything too serious.
Impact Is Imminent kicks off with its title track, a scorching metal cruncher, abound with many a blazing guitar lead, belting double kicking and manly vocals. On the subject, the band has two vocalists, which strikes me as bizarre. To be honest if I didn’t look it up I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Both of the singers are good, and I’m guessing one of them takes the higher range/adds harmony whilst the other nails the more manageable aggressive mid-range.
Cyclophonia shows us what they do best in tracks such as the short and punchy “Retaliate”, with its fist pumping riffs and Maiden style guitar lines, as well as the following “Hero”, which ignites some pure 80’s power metal magic and reminds me in places of Crystal Eyes. There isn’t too much to fault the band on with their debut release, but one thing that I found strangely niggling is the lead guitar work. Don’t get me wrong, it is undeniably impressive, and when I was bang into my shredding I would have lapped this right up. However here I find it a slight too flamboyant: this isn’t a Malmsteen album.
As you can see, any issues I have with Impact Is Imminent are relatively moot, as for the most part this is quality. Next time around I’d like to see a little more in the way of memorable lead guitar work and less reliance on scale running, as well as a couple more songs, preferably with another cut like “Hero”. Fans of 80’s style power metal as well as acts such as Iron Savior and early Hammerfall would do well to check out Cyclophonia, and I personally hope to see the band go from strength to strength next time around.
Chris’ Rating 3.75 out of 5