Label: AFM Records
Release Date: September 9, 2016
Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur
I was floored when I first heard Serious Black’s 2015 release As Daylight Breaks, and I am once again on the floor as I pass through the nine tracks on the standard release of the band’s latest offering, Mirrorworld. “Breaking The Surface” is a cool intro piece that helps set the pace without letting the band contribute as a whole; it’s a moody instrumental piece that leans toward orchestral/keyboard with what sounds like some interesting guitar parts as well. “As Long As I’m Alive” picks up where the intro left off, but this time, the guitars, bass, and drums join the effort in a big way. The largest variance is the introduction of vocals on this track. The tempo of the track is led fiercely by the drums and bass and paced perfectly by the twin guitar attack. “Heartbroken Soul” is a very melodic track that grabbed me from the first listen and is one of my favorite on the short collection. Urban Breed’s vocals are some of the best on the disc, especially when paired with the guitars and steady rhythm section on this killer track. “You’re Not Alone” features some of the best guitar work on the disc, thanks to Bob Katsionis and Dominik Sebastian. The different guitar sounds trade off throughout the track, while the vocals take on a different sound. Disc closer “The Unborn Never Die” is a cool song that benefits from the twin guitar sound that builds a wall of sound feeling just before shifting to a chugging monster when the vocals kick in. The drums and bass combine to deliver a great driving rhythm that is completed by the keyboards.
“Castor Skies” opens with keyboards setting a mood underneath some furious guitar licks and riffs. The rhythm section joins the fray and the song is off and running. Once Breed’s vocals jump into the mix, this song seemingly takes flight. “Dying Hearts” allows Jan Vacik’s keyboards to take the lead, with full support of a guitar sound that swirls perfectly in the mix. A perfect cadence from bassist Mario Lochert and drummer Alex Holzwath keep the song moving nicely through the verses and into a catchy chorus that gets the foot tapping and head banging. Title track “Mirrorworld” is a great song that brings a slightly different feel to the disc, while staying within the parameters of the other songs here. The vocals are great and soar in the mix without stealing any thunder from the other players – this song is another example of the band’s mission statement: Six Friends, One Mission, One Goal. The band comes together on this song and it pays off in spades. “State Of My Despair” takes on a symphonic metal feel, thanks to the opening keyboards and orchestration from Vacik that play sweetly against the guitars and heavy-handed rhythm section. The layered vocals are a nice touch to the track and give the song added depth at the verse.
Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the deluxe version of this release and grab the following bonus tracks: “Emotional Blackmail,” “The Life That You Want,” “The Machine Is Broken,” “Hello Moon,” and “Goodbye My Angel.” Trust me, it is worth the additional investment – and if you head to the bands web shop, there is a limited edition version with an additional two tracks, for sixteen in all.
Tracklisting: Breaking The Surface – As Long As I’m Alive – Castor Skies – Heartbroken Soul – Dying Hearts – You’re Not Alone – Mirrorworld – State Of My Despair – The Unborn Never Die
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