Finland's Force Majeure returns with their sophomore effort Saints of Sulphur, and they convinced me of a few things. Vocalist, Ricky definitely sounds like a Tobias Sammet clone, and their music sounds like a heavier version of early Edguy. Perhaps, if Edguy didn't do the Mandrake album, cranked up the heaviness, they could have sounded like this. On a more positive note, Force Majeure appears to have increased their creativity and versatility, at least on several songs. We'll get to that shortly ...
Above, Force Majeure: posing before their favorite mode of transportation, a tank.
But first there's both the strange and predictable. For the former, there's the crushing heaviness of the opener Crushblade where, it seems, FM tries to tap some of the harshness of modern metal. To the latter, Paint Me Dead, Blizzard, and Zero Toxic are quintessential melodic power metal, but in the best light. The musicianship and simple execution is nearly flawless. This is especially so on the 'Edguy-type' pieces One More Day and Ever Since the Dawn (great bass work on both, by the way). In this case, Force Majeure offers the best power metal, echoing their peers, both past and present.
However, where Force Majeure shows glimmers of better brilliance is on the longer songs These Cold Deserted Shores and Saints of Sulphur Sure, you could repeat preceding comments, and if you said, 'there's nothing no under the sun,' you might have a host of power metal angels (or fans) agreeing. But there's a greater depth to these songs; it's that creativity and versatility I mentioned earlier. It sounds and seems that, if FM was going stand in company of the greats, they better up their game. And, damn it, the rise to the occasion. Does this make Saints of Sulphur extra special in the field? Perhaps not. But, with these songs, and across the entire album, Force Majeure is progressing.
And, after all, it does sound pretty damn good. Recommended.
Force Majeure's Saints of Sulphur finds the band continuing on the path of classic European power metal. Perhaps heavier, and with notable advances in creativity on the longer songs.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]