Cyprian - 2005 EP
Traditional/Thrash Metal
4 songs (19:35)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Crims

For those of you who remember the majority of my reviews, which is probably none of you seeing as how even I don’t remember half of the reviews I write, I had received a 4 song promo CD a few years ago from a band called Fireign. One interesting thing about Fireign was that they were from St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada. Not exactly a hot-bed for Canadian Metal but here is another independent band from St. John’s releasing a 4-song EP. Cyprian is similar to Fireign as they both take a very traditional approach to Metal, but with some modern, updated touches. This is a wholly impressive debut with elements of 80’s Power Metal, Thrash, and NWOBHM that meld together to make a very memorable listening experience.

What struck me first about this EP were the vocals. Provided by Adam Carter, they take on a unique approach which reminds me of the some of the cleaner 80’s Thrash singers. This is mixed with well-placed, but used sparingly, Death Metal vocals. The way the lyrics are delivered are very catchy and have a rhyming feel to them that matches perfectly with the rhythm section. This technique was used to great effect by bands like Forbidden and I can’t get enough of it. Carter’s actual voice is sort of mid-range but he does do a Halford-esque falsetto to change things up. He stays within a certain range for the majority of this EP and it’s all that’s really needed. The vocals, in the end, compliment the music and enhance it, which means the guitars come first… as they should.

The guitars are where the variety of the different Metal styles comes into play. There are some definite Thrash riffs on here, but due to gratuitous use of harmonized leads and solos memories of the 80’s are evoked with your typical bands of the era like Iron Maiden. That’s not to say these leads are typical knock-offs; they stand on their own and are fantastic. They litter the CD all over the place, and many times they are played in conjunction with the vocals and choruses. The third track, Dead and Buried, has a huge a shred section which features about 4 distinct leads back to back. This is one place where the band does not need any improvement, as the virtuosity of guitarists Chris Rodgers and Travis Burke is clearly evidenced in every track. I even found myself reminded of early Melodic Death in the Lunar Strain and Skydancer vein every now and then with the guitar playing.

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the simple fact that it’s a self-released effort but the style of production is very 80’s on this EP. The guitars, though playing riffs which are quite heavy at-times, have a muted feel. What this basically means is nothing is over-produced or overly slick. There is a definite raw and dirty personality to the guitar tone and drum sound. As one might suspect, this matches the bands style perfectly.

Amongst the 4 songs there are no weak tracks, though my favorites are Relapse, which interestingly enough is about a cancer patient coming to terms with his condition, and the aforementioned Dead and Buried with its huge shred-factor and acoustic break that brings to memory In Flames' The Jester Race. Though I have found myself enjoying many demos in the past, this is one of the few times I wish there were more songs. I really enjoyed the vocal style and the riffs and leads were so excellent I wanted to hear them over and over again. If this band does find a major label to release their work from I hope they don’t ruin the sound of the band with over-production. I doubt this will happen and first things first: let’s hear a full-length!

Killing Songs :
Relapse, Dead And Bured, and Shades Of Grey
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