Year : 2016
Genre : Melodic Metal
Label : Perris Records
Origin : Serbia
Srdjan Brankovic is a renowned brand of the Serbian metal militia, and rightfully so: with its latest to date outing, the ensemble showcases apt readiness to channel energies from an intersection situated at the most prominent segments of massively romantic melodic metal and Iron Maiden-esque power metal affections.
The lead singer has a doubtless tremendous voice hyper-optimized to this type of silence massacre, packing an unusual amount of power even in the higher registers, on which he skims around with effortless grace and action-packed elegance.
The songcraft is pretty much everything in this genre, and the compositions have nothing to hide-, nor to modestly conceal: a clear understanding of melodic metal tropes are observable on a constant basis, paired up with the group's optimally enthusiastic drive to sculpt out unusually diverse and dynamic structures. This readiness is the premiere reason that the album is not "just" a melodic metal release, but a top tier one at that.
Normally, an everyday average band would write like 4 songs from these extremely well detailed sonic landscapes that are offered as a single galaxy per single effort herein. As a musician and critic, I only believe in clear, hefty intentions and hard work when it comes to music, and it is nice to see these sentiments being reflected in a delivery fueled by the exact same creative credo. Read on to know more.
Although I have mentioned an Iron Maiden parallel in the previous paragraph, it would be incorrect to deem the group as yet another well behaved Maiden clone on the conveyor belt. The band openly embraces the ethos of '80s soft metal with finely detailed romantic songs that do not refrain from channeling pop sensibilities with fist-pumping black leather-playfulness. This romantic diligence is a constant theme on this full lenght, and, oftentimes fuels particularly interesting segments in a musical context. A cool example to this is the instrumental elements found in the track called "Fly with me": the music on display has nothing to fear when facing off against top of the foodchain technical death metal, such indeed is the intricacy of the detail-level revealed.
The production work on the album values richness of sounds over compression-fetischism and stock-heaviness: a very wise and rare decision in an era where the "mere" charm of harmony is usually deemed sufficient enough to get away with the musical intention. This very decision is reflected in the songcraft, as well, drawing anatomies that demand full fledged attention on the spot: everything is strict, crystal clear, and fueled by a very respectable-, no-time-to-bullshit-around creative stance: you will be subjected to everything conceivable within the boundaries of a single song, but these detours will never halt to a tolling crawl just to congratulate to themselves with you being around - which, let's face it, is not too rare, when the artist is secretly baffled by her/his greatness. The group assumes you to be an adult listener who can fully and efficiently appreciate a pattern for what it is while shown one, and they exercise exemplary conduct in pointing out how less is more.
As stated, this band and its latest outing know exactly that the name of the game is to deny the given sound when you want more of it: when the band decides to assuage your ears with a brief piano interlude, it will be "just" that: a nice piano interlude that is getting wrapped up before you could get intoxicated by its doubtless efficiency, and you are quick to realize that the shadily/successfully completed agenda of this ninja-grade trick merely is to give a rest to your ears and awareness, so both can be freshly molested with the whizzling axes once again.
This permanent artistic conduct looks especially good when handled with this almost-exploitative heft and relentless rigor: all the elements are served, yet you will never get too much of a good thing - instead, the members will always give you something else when you still would have wanted more of the previous. Not a single element will overstay its welcome, thereby making the record an immediate recommendation: a disc that demands many revisits even as a first-, and tenth listen. A superb, mature and ballsy effort, and you want it.
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