Cea Serin - Where Memories Combine
Nightmare Records
Dark Power / Progressive Metal
7 songs (54'15)
Release year: 2004
Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Ben
Surprise of the month

From out of nowhere (actually, this band is from my old homestead of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Basically, nowhere) comes Cea Serin and their debut album Where Memories Combine and I’ll be damned if this isn’t some of the best Progressive Metal that I have heard so far this year. I usually avoid other band comparisons in reviewing but this album reminds me so much of Evergrey’s first two albums, The Dark Discovery and Solitude Dominance Tragedy that I feel I must point this out. That sense of overbearing darkness is preserved on this and Cea Serin even have an abundance of samples as found on the compared Evergrey releases. Vocals however are vastly different than Tom Englund. At times I am reminded of Vintersorg in clean passages and at other times there is a harsh growl or a high shriek, and believe me, while this might seem like a fish out of water on paper, this varied vocal approach is delivered in a mesmerizing fashion. Guitars are heavy, technical, and yet they are highly melodic, all at the same time. There are never any showboat solos where the band descends into a wankfilled instrumental section but with the general length of each track being closer to ten minutes than five each individual piece has more than enough room to wow and amaze you. There’s even a passage in The End of Silence where there is tap dancing. Yes, that’s right, tap dancing! And don’t worry, this isn’t a “let’s be uber proggy and weird so everyone knows how intelligent we are. Har har, har har” part either.

Beginning with a very moody and somber intro that is a mix of spoken word and strings, Where Memories kicks into gear with Embracing the Absence and right there at the beginning, that guitar intro, those licks blew me away and still are. Completely contrasting the depressive intro track these licks are harmonius and brightly before diving down into an aggressive riff while their drummer goes off with some insane fills in the background. As I mentioned before singer J. Lamm has one hell of a great voice and every song is a testament to that fact. Every time he sings it is a pleasure to hear, and he makes those rough to clean transitions effortlessly. Keyboards are airy and dramatic, yet they aren’t ever cheesy and melodramatic to the point of absurdity. They play a vital role yet are relegated to the background so that if they were removed from the mix you would feel that something incredibly important was missing, but it would take you a few spins to realize exactly what it was. I can’t give an album like this a track by track review even though I feel I am obligated to because of the award this is given, the music is so dense and complex that me trying to decipher and dissect the tracks would end up with typing some horrible jumbled mess on the computer screen. Take this shortened review with a grain of salt, while some of you might be glad to not have to read all of my longwinded rambling, the brevity of my writing is in by no means a way of implying that I could not come up with enough good things to say about Cea Serin. Where Memories Combine is just the kick in the ass the Progressive Metal scene needs today and I feel that that is all that really needs to be said. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
Embracing the Absence, The End of Silence, Scripted Suffering Within and Without, and Into the Vivid Cherishing
Ben quoted 88 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:33 pm
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