SERIOUS BLACK – As Daylight Breaks [Japan Edition +4]

SERIOUS BLACK - As Daylight Breaks [Japan Edition +4] full

After the recent, new SERIOUS BLACK album one of you asked for the band’s debut “As Daylight Breaks“, in this Japanese edition including no less than 4 bonus tracks.
From the beginning, Serious Black was conceived a long lasting band – not just a one-off project. Formed by some very familiar names in the melodic / power / progressive metal scenes, Serious Black features guitarist Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), drummer Thomen Stauch (Savage Circus, ex-Blind Guardian), bassist Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate, ex-Visions of Atlantis), guitarist Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge), keyboardist Jan Vacik (ex-Dreamscape) and vocalist Urban breed (ex-Bloodbound).

The collaboration between Grapow – one of the best songwriters in melodic metal – and breed (one of the best new vocalists in the genre) alone should be enough to get most fans’ attention, but Serious Black is more than just these two individuals, and “As Daylight Breaks” doesn’t simply sound like a Masterplan album with a different vocalist.
The songwriting was collaborative, so you can hear elements of each member’s past bands on this album. Overall, the band found a perfect meeting point between melodic metal and groovy heavy hard rock with this album.
And as happens lately with these genres, all is very accessible and quite catchy, reaching wide audiences.

SERIOUS BLACK - As Daylight Breaks [Japan Edition +4] booklet

“As Daylight Breaks” is just a fantastic melodic album all around.
Stauch and Lochert keep things fast and heavy, but between Grapow’s melodic lead guitar work and breed’s powerful soaring vocals this record is all about huge melodies.
breed has been something of a journeyman of late, but he fits so very well here. So much so that it feels like Serious Black is where he truly belongs. Having Grapow – a very capable singer in his own right – on backing vocals adds even more layered harmonies.

It’s hard to call out specific songs when the whole album is this good, but if you’re looking for an idea of Serious Black’s overall sound, you’ll want to sample leadoff single “Sealing My Fate”.
Also remarkable are “I Seek No Other Life”, “Akhenaton” or the powerful “Setting Fire to the Earth”. A proof that Serious Black has a very commercial approach is the fact that title track “As Daylight Breaks” is a ballad (and a wonderful one).
Aside perhaps from the brief instrumental “Temple of the Sun”, you won’t find a forgettable song on this CD.

This Japanese release includes various bonus tracks; “Someone Else’s Life” is a punchy melodic metal song with solid refrains and soaring vocals, while “Fly On” is a calmer midtempo with a bluesy feel and very nice atmosphere.
Then we have a true surprise; a cover of ’91s Genesis song “No Son Of Mine”, a melodious poppy song finely done with heavier guitars and pristine vocals.

For the end, the exclusive bonus “I Show You My Heart” (check the video above) is an elegant semi-ballad which raise the tempo to a killer melodic hard rock tune.
A shame it was not included into the regular release.

SERIOUS BLACK - As Daylight Breaks [Japan Edition +4] back

If you’re a fan of melodic and catchy ‘new’ power metal, particularly bands like Masterplan, Avantasia, Allen-Lande, etc, “As Daylight Breaks” is a mandatory listen.
And if this type of thing is not your cup of tea, you better check this Japanese Edition, as the bonus tracks – especially the awesome “I Show You My Heart” – are true melodic hard rock oriented tracks.
Highly Recommended

01 – I Seek No Other Life
02 – High And Low
03 – Sealing My Fate
04 – Temple Of The Sun
05 – Akhenaton
06 – My Mystic Mind
07 – Trail Of Murder
08 – As Daylight Breaks
09 – Someone Else’s Life (Bonus Track)
10 – Setting Fire To The Earth
11 – Older And Wiser
12 – Listen To The Storm
13 – Fly On (Bonus Track)
14 – No Son Of Mine (Bonus Track)
15 – I Show You My Heart (Bonus Track – Japan exclusive)

Urban breed (Project Arcadia ex-Bloodbound) – Vocals
Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) – Guitars
Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge, Shadows’ Grey) – Guitars
Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate) – Bass
Jan Vacik (D-Vision, ex-Dreamscape) – Keyboards
Thomen Stauch (Savage Circus, ex-Blind Guardian) – Drums


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