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Symphorce - Phorceful Ahead - reviewed by: EC

Track Listing1. Speak my mind
2. Unbroken
3. Slow down
4. Longing home
5. Moving in Circles
6. Falling through again
7. Your Blood, my Soul
8. Rage of Violence
9. Touched and Infected
10. Nothin’ left
The German prog-power group has returned with their third release. After rather successful releases of Truth To Promises (1999) and Sinctuary (2000), Symphorce have delved into their creative minds and delivered their most mature work to date.

With Phorceful Ahead, their debut for new label Metal Blade, the band brings a more downtuned heaviness to the band's wide range of metal influences, ranging from nu-metal groove to power and prog metal. I have always loved Andy B. Franck's vocal range, sounding like a cross between Carl Albert and Bruce Dickinson, and this album really shows off Andy's great voice.

Phorceful Ahead reminds me of Brainstorm at times, which is the other band that singer Franck sings for. With tracks like Unbroken and Falling Through Again, the material sounds like something left off of the last Brainstorm record-- heavy and powerful with plenty of high octane energy. Other tracks show off the progressive side of the Germans, like Rage Of Violence and Moving In Circles.

This is a record that you really need to use your search option. The tracks differ in intensity depending on your mood. The tracks that are progressive are really PROGRESSIVE and the tracks that lean to the power metal side are really heavy in your face groovers. If you like less chorus based bands like Control Denied and Mystic Force, then this third album from Symphorce is a good starting point. If you like the faster paced numbers, then definitely check out Brainstorm for your heavy addiction.

--EC 03.19.03
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SYMPHORCE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
GodspeedSymphorce
2005
Stygian Steel12/11/2005
Phorceful AheadSymphorce
2003
Eric Compton3/19/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SYMPHORCE
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
UnrestrictedSymphorce
2010
Eric Compton11/13/2010


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SYMPHORCE
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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