Symphorce - Become Death Review
by Matt Hensch
I've been hearing a lot of talk about how Symphorce's Become Death is the new highest standard of power metal and why it's going to redefine the genre. I've been typically pounced on by fantastic reviews of Become Death whenever I cruise the web, open a metal magazine, or have a simple conversation with a fellow metalhead. With this much hype, an album must be what everyone says it is, so I did what anyone would do: I added it to my collection, but that was a mistake. You see, Symphorce is still stuck in the same gear and haven't progressed as a band; this trend unfortunately continues in Become Death as Symphorce continues on their ongoing streak of generic power metal with little thrill or satisfaction.
Some weak points of this record emerge from the poor musical performance and its many flaws. Almost all of the riffs here lack any technical or speedy elements and sound waaaaay too boring to be considered exciting by any means. A cloud of boredom hovers over Markus Pohl and Cedric Dupond as they repeat a predictable haze of lame riffs that stay the same until the next track worms its way through. The lack of solos is also a painful kick in the nuts (symbolically speaking) to Become Death as only a sliver of the songs have leads. The band's attempts at using keyboards add another nail in the coffin because of the nu-metal similarities (check the Linkin Park mimicry on "Condemned") along with forgettable samples and poor usage. Andy Franck's voice is definitely the best and most uplifting part of this album. Anyone familiar with Franck's voice knows he sings his guts out with stupendous high notes and vocal tones; Become Death is no exception in terms of his phenomenal voice.
Symphorce's playing ability is rather dull already, but the band has some chameleon-like plagiarisms towards other groups that beat the enjoyment out of this album. Echoes of Dream Theater stalk many songs on this CD because of the comparable piano parts and the backing vocals that sound exactly like James Labrie. There is also an unnecessary amount of riffs that reek of Nevermore and Helloween worship as well. Nothing new is being done here and it all sounds like a generic attempt at power metal. How can you enjoy an album that lacks almost all forms of originality? Simple answer: you can't.
I am highly disappointed. An album with this much hype should be a revolutionary record that defines the limits of the genre as we know it; Become Death unfortunately fails at this test of power and ends up being another disc in my collection that will most likely rot in my CD case for all eternity. Hold on to your money and don't buy this.
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