“phorcefulAhead” brought Andy and his boys some well-earned attention, I know I’m not alone in my beliefs on this one, it was a kick ass album. Little time has gone by since the last album and already the band is ready to release their new album “Twice Second”; by the looks of it, it seems the band has jumped into the “we are Metal and we wear white karate/shrink clothing” wagon, killer album artwork by the way.
The first two listens left me disappointed but as I listened to it more and more it has left a better impression on me, still no “phorcefulAhead” though. It’s not like the album is drastically different, it’s still SYMPHORCE you know, SYM stands for melody and PHORCE stands for heaviness. “Twice Second” (another delightful wordplay from vocalist Andy B. Franck) is the next step in the band’s sound, this time you only have to chew on it longer before it’s digested. One thing you don’t need to chew on is the choruses, melodic and damn catchy as always.
The songs, the album as a whole is more experimental and simplistic at the same time. Riffs are more basic so to say, there’s a big power chord feast lined up be sure of that and the screaming leads from Cede put a big smile on my face, he’s totally underrated if you ask me. SYMPHORCE are a flexible band, they give a wide spectrum of songs within one album. Whether it’s the mystic opener “Fallen”, the laid-back groove monster “Take What’s Mine” or the thrashy “Face Of Pain”, the band is always on top of their game. You want more? Ok then, let’s start with the METALLICA like “Two Seconds To Live”, a healthy tribute to the Bay Area Thrash Metal sound, or how about the aggressive “Whatever Hate Provides” with its choking lead guitars and ARCH ENEMY sounding bridge. “Cry On My Shoulder”, the gloomiest SYMPHORCE track so far (definitely the killjoy of the album) is another good example of the band’s great songwriting, the section with the crybabies still makes me freeze for a second.
Andy strengthens his presence in the Metal scene with his great vocal arrangements. He’s experimenting more with effects this time and gets away with good results. There are some brief moments where he’s filled with anger and attempts to do some primitive rough vocals; honestly I don’t think that’s his style really but it’s not bad either.
Electronic sounds (provided by former member H.P. Walter) played a bigger part in the beginnings of the band. The way they use these strange atmospheric sounds is subtler nowadays but still make their style more interesting and appealing.
After facing one too many NEVERMORE references through their last two albums (especially from me), I think they’ve finally found a more personal sound with “Twice Second”; a good album but not necessarily better than the stomping “phorcefulAhead”. My last words to you are: raise the air guitar, play those fantastic solos and sing along in the choruses. (Online February 14, 2004)