Siren’s Cry – Scattered Horizons
Siren’s Cry – Scattered Horizons (2013)
Written by Christopher Foley
Siren’s Cry are the latest band to join the ever-increasing crowd of European progressive power metal acts, taking the vast majority of their cues from the established Symphony X sound, and blending in some hard-boiled progressive influence pilfered from the likes of To-Mera and early Circus Maximus. Seeking to set themselves apart from the crowd, Siren’s Cry sport female vocals courtesy of Katarina Bilak, who some of you might recognize from a guest spot on the latest Dragony album, and whose sound is mostly in touch with Sabine Edelsbacher.
Straight off the bat I can tell you that even if you have only an entry level, cursory knowledge of this genre, you’re going to have heard everything that Scattered Horizons has to offer before. Now, this isn’t strictly a bad thing, although I definitely think it castrates appeal for all but the genre connoisseurs. Siren’s Cry play with a lot of skill, and as a well established fan of the genre I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some aspects of this release genuinely excited me. Most of this excitement is delivered in the guitar work of Phillip R. Porter, who gives his best at channeling Michael Romeo, and when coupled with Michael A. Sisko’s keyboard pyrotechnics, makes for some quality guitar and key duels. Again though, this is nothing you haven’t already heard from Symphony X.
Even when the band try their hand at some longer numbers in “Sahara Saga’s Pt. I”, “A Controversial Mind”, or even “Elegy Of R’lyeh” (with its Lovecraftian theme feeling slightly alien to the genre), you’ve heard it all before on The 1st Chapter, Images & Words or hell (here’s a slightly obscure one for you), even Optical Illusion. Obviously I’ve stressed how derivative a lot of this material is, to the point where you have to question whether it can really be counted as progressive any more (that’s a topic for another day…), but I don’t want it to detract from the fact that Scattered Horizons is generally a good album. Performances across the board are excellent and professional, the production is quality with a bright mix, and the songs themselves are certainly fun; particularly the opener, “S3V3N”, and the aforementioned “A Controversial Mind”, which houses what I’d say is the finest chorus on the album.
I can nigh on guarantee that fans of this style will find enjoyment with Scattered Horizons, but as I mentioned earlier, I don’t think it will go any further than that. If Siren’s Cry truly wants to become a force to be reckoned with, then I feel that they need to introduce elements into their sound which will set them apart from the crowd. For now though, definitely a good effort and a solid album at that. This should appeal to fans of any of the aforementioned acts throughout this review, and maybe even those of After Forever and Epica.
3.25 // 5