Symphorce - Phorceful Ahead
MetalBlade Records
Heavy/Power Metal
10 songs (47'08)
Release year: 2002
Symphorce, MetalBlade Records
Reviewed by Danny

Andy D. Frank is back with his band Symphorce.

Also known as the singer of Brainstorm, Andy continues to deliver new album years after years (almost !) with his heavy/power metal band. PhorceFull Ahead constitutes their third effort after Truth To Promises (1999) and Sinctuary (2000) and is the most mature record of the band, even though I was expecting something better. May be I placed my expectation too high ... out of reach.

So what shall you expect from German "metalers" who are devoted to heavy, power and thrash metal. Well, you shall expect melodies, catchy riffs, strong chorus and of course the wonderful & powerful voice of Andy B. Franck. You know, Andy impressed me a lot on Ambiguity - that was his first appearance for Brainstorm - and he is like these good old wines ... better & better as time goes by. On PhorceFull Ahead, the guy is brilliant.

The new songs have all a good sense of power with tons of 'thrashy' based riffs and plenty of good transitions giving a lot of breath to the listener. However, theses songs are lacking those little nearly indescribable details that make songs and/or albums stick in your head for days and nights. From the opening moments of the classical-influenced Metallica's black album (Speak Of Mind), the listener is submerged in a classical heavy/power metal journey. I would have started the record with the second track Unbroken instead of Speak Of Mind, which is a bit too "slow" for a start.

As time goes by, the album is loosing its initial power, its initial intensity and becomes predictable. Slow Down & Longing Home are the good surprises here as these songs are printed in your mind easily. Unfortunately, this will not be the case for the remaining tracks. A good record for sure, but somehow very linear ... as sometimes I had to check which song I was listening to.

Symphorce and Brainstorm are walking the "same" heavy metal ground. In other words, if you like Brainstorm you gonna like Symphorce and vice versa. The frontier is very thin between these two bands, but I will rather say that Symphorce is another version of Brainstorm. Don't misunderstand me, these guys are playing powerful heavy metal, but let's say that the last Brainstorm's album (Metus Mortis) had an "hard-core" side and this PhorceFull Ahead has a "nu-metal" touch. I suppose that the recent success of Rammstein, Papa Roach or Rob Zombie is slowly but surely influencing the classical wave of heavy metal bands, who are also including these type of "new sounds" when they compose. German heavy metal bands are metamorphosing ... and Symphorce is one of these bands who try new "things". No worries, this is still good old heavy/power metal (Metallica - black album). Let's just say the sound is ... transmuting !

If your are into classical heavy metal, I suggest you to check before you buy. If you like evolution, "put an ear" on the new Symphorce.

Killing Songs :
Slow Down, Unbroken, Longing Home
Danny quoted 75 / 100
Alex quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Symphorce that we have reviewed:
Symphorce - Unrestricted reviewed by Jaime and quoted 45 / 100
Symphorce - Become Death reviewed by Chris and quoted 76 / 100
Symphorce - Godspeed reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Symphorce - Twice Second reviewed by Jay and quoted 74 / 100
Symphorce - Sinctuary reviewed by Danny and quoted 91 / 100
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