|Review: Cypher Seer - Awakening Day|
Label: Sentinel Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 7, 2007
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 3.38/5 (67.5%) (8 Votes)
I was extremely eager about this project when I first heard about these guys; hearing that they were an US heavy metal band hearkening back to the old days of the genre, à la Helstar or Liege Lord. However, what I got was quite a bit of a letdown. This is definitely heavy metal, and it definitely has roots in the "old school" sound, but it's not very exciting, only serving to bore the Hell out of me. These songs feel way, way too long, and they suffer from a severe lack of memorable hooks. The band repeatedly chucks these heavy, almost thrashy riffs at you like one of those baseball pitching machines, but none of them ever stick or strike you as any sort of cool. This isn't helped by the fact that vocalist Michael Grant is not very talented at all, and his only redeeming point is the fact that he can at least hold a tune. He's got a faceless, boring voice that lacks any sort of charisma, and it's bizarre how he is in so many other fucking bands. The best comparison I can make is that he sounds kinda-sorta like Harry Conklin of Jag Panzer, except he doesn't have anywhere near the same amount of character and class that The Tyrant possesses. The keyboards too; they're very out of place and far too present at times, sounding very fit for a Euro power metal band. But Cypher Seer are American, and a lot of the other aspects of their sound are of the old American variety, so it makes no sense to even have a full time keyboard player.
There isn't much to say to this. Cypher Seer have their hearts in the right place, that's obvious enough, as this isn't grating or annoying at all. But honestly, this album is so vanilla in every sense of the word that I can barely stand to listen to one song without it fading into naught but background music. Rarely do I ever come across heavy metal albums that don't invoke at least a smidgeon of emotion, and rarely is the genre associated with such dull, monotonous pieces of work as this one is. It's not particularly bad and it's not annoying; it just lacks fire and personality, two things which a heavy metal band needs to back up their sound.
Picture it like this: If bands like Iron Maiden, Helstar, Slough Feg and Manilla Road are sharp, jagged battle objects that could pierce one's skin with ease and class to boot, then Cypher Seer is a dull, blunted butter knife of a band that one would have to spend a long while swinging to actually accomplish much of anything.
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