Who has ever heard of CYPHER SEER? Next to nobody? OK. Who has heard of MALAKIS REIGN? A few more, there we go. Well, if you have heard of MALAKIS REIGN, then you have heard of CYPHER SEER as well, kind of. In 2007 MALAKIS REIGN had to change its name due to legal issues at the time and came up with CYPHER SEER. It’s that simple.
New Jersey’s Sentinel Steel Records scooped up the quintet led by former ONWARD, LEGEND MAKER, NEW EDEN and current CRESCENT SHIELD vocalist Michael Grant, whose voice is the first trademark of this American Power Metal band’s sound, as manifested in “Awakening Day”, their full length debut album. And either I am starting to show an affinity towards the US side of Power Metal or CYPHER SEER aren’t purebred in that style, but despite a few certain original reservations “Awakening Day” has grown on me dramatically throughout my listens.
Grant’s vocals already had given his other bands a pretty original touch, as his town sets him apart from most of his peers and put on top of variable and accessible Metal of the melodic kind this is a surefire hit in my ears. Musically the band takes very catchy melodies, combines them with varied tempos and rhythms and uses these dynamics to their advantage, as mentioned, topped by Grant’s clear and expressive voice, elevating songs such as the driving “V.666”, the truly excellent title track, the cool “Malachai’s Reign”, the very dynamic “Act Of Desperation” or the fast “On Chained Down” above many of their genre colleagues, and that does not include the closing trilogy “Haunted Saga” even!
Embedded into a crystal clear production “Awakening Day” is a great debut of a band that clearly is not just another newcomer trying to learn by doing, these guys are far further than that! Anybody, who puts down the American school of Power Metal as favourite Metal food can’t pass CYPHER SEER by and I hope that we’ll be able to hear a lot more from these guys soon, they’re that good already!
(Online August 7, 2007)