Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks
AFM Records
Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (42:00)
Release year: 2015
AFM Records
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month
  A band that consists of names like Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), Thomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian), Mario Lochert (ex-Visions Of Atlantis), Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge), Jan Vacik (ex-Dreamscape) and last but not least the golden voice of Urban breed (ex-Tad Morose) definitely sparked my interest after reading about the creation of Serious Black. Especially after the solid release Bulgarian band Project Arcadia featured Breed on vocals last year.

You can check out the lyric video for the first single, I Seek No Other Life. A faster speedy song, while the song that follows, High and Low is a lot more melodic. It shows the melodic and rougher sides to Breed's vocals. There is a catchy lead synth that can be heard in parts of the song. This is more AOR-esque versus the melodic Power Metal of the first song. The guitar solo on the song mixes up melodic leads with technical playing that fits the song perfectly. This song features the first of many outstanding choruses to come. Sealing My Fate slows down for the first part of the song, before the song becomes a more melodic Power Metal song with some great guitar playing. From galloping riffs to tremolo picking, the song is very well executed. The orchestral Temple Of The Sun leads directly into Akhenation that has an opening guitar riff, that one could not help but headbang too. A very straight-forward song but one of the best on the entire disc. The symphonic nature of the band comes strong during the opening of My Mystic Mind. The guitar and keyboard interplay in the beginning really draws you into this speedy song. The drumming deserves the attention here, extra attention is given to the backbeat during the verses.

The hugely melodic Trail Of Murder is another straight ahead song much in the vein of the songs earlier on the disc. Still it has enough to differentiate itself from the other songs and it is also the shortest songs with vocals, at just under three minutes. The title track is next, and it caught my attention, with its soft strings and piano. I have been listening to Urban breed for a long time, and I thought he hit a high note last year, but wow this is song is every bit delicate and passionate as it is powerful. Whether power ballads are your thing or not, this is one of the best ballads I have heard in a long time. It shows that a simple melody can capture your attention, and guide you from start to finish. Setting Fire To The Storm reminds me Grapow's Masterplan. You could close your eyes and imagine Urban breed singing during the self-titled/Aeronautics era of Masterplan. Listen To The Storm starts aptly with storm effects and strings. Clean tone sounding guitars find their way in, before the song starts to grows into a huge melodic song from start to finish. The final track is Older and Wiser and much like the disc began, it ends with a speedy melodic Power Metal song, that is classic in nature and sound. A perfect way for the disc to end on a high note.

With the previously mentioned band members and their subsequent bands, this is something of an all-start group, one though with a set concise and unison idea of where they want their music to go. This a band, I believe that would be just as powerful and cohesive as they are on this disc. If you like Melodic Power Metal with changes in melody, tempos and the power ballad thrown in for good measure, Serious Black may fill that early 2015 void you have been waiting for.

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted 88 / 100
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