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Serious Black: Suite 226
Serious Black - Suite 226 Album Art Work

Serious Black: Suite 226

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

Six years on, and now a quartet with new drummer Ramy Ali (Iron Mask), Serious Black keeps charging on, now arriving with their fifth studio album Suite 226. Not unlike 2017's Magic, this album tells a story. Serious Black explains:

Suite 226 tells a complete narrative of a mentally confused man who is torn between his own dream world, reality and evil. The protagonist has been held captive for many years in the dismal, cold padded cell number 226, the inhuman condition of the rotten psychiatry driving him insane. In his imagination he is the mighty king who lives in his feudal castle surrounded by courtesans, good food and wine and commands an invincible army. Staggering between illusion and reality, he continues to be drawn into the maelstrom of madness, his life becomes a ride through purgatory accompanied by demons, anxiety attacks and paranoia.

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Serious Black

Once more, the story is brought to life by Serious Black's hybrid of melodic, heavy, and power metal. Expect the usual suspects: brisk harmonious riffage, power metal pacing and rock groove from the rhythm section, abundant ambitious solos, and Urban Breed's familiar clean and melodic vocals. Within the arrangements, you'll hear a sprinkling of synths, often for symphonic embellishment.

As for the songs, if you're a Serious Black fan, you will once more enjoy the variety in the arrangements. I was more partial to the songs where the power metal also featured a strong melody and rock groove. This would include such tunes as Let It Go, Castiel, We Will Stand Tall, and especially the catchy Fate Of All Humanity, which turns more upon melodic metal rock. A metal ballad arrives with Come Home which, like any good metal anthem should, rises to a guitar solo crescendo. The album wraps up with the title track where the arrangement allows musicians to stretch their talents in progressive power metal. All in all, if you've enjoyed what Serious Black has done in the past, you will not be disappointed with Suite 226, another entertaining album of their engaging melodic heavy power metal. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

All in all, if you've enjoyed what Serious Black has done in the past, you will not be disappointed with Suite 226, another entertaining album of their engaging melodic heavy power metal. Recommended.

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