Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cyrax: Reflections (2013)

If I had to pick just one word to describe the sound of Cyrax, it would be eclectic.  I think that is the most accurate descriptor for a band that combines such a wide and varied mix of music into their sound.  The Italian five-piece can go from blues rock to metal at the drop of a hat.  None of which would be possible if the musicians were not all as incredibly talented as they are.

The album starts off with the track "Doom Against True Hell", which features a hefty amount of synthesizer programming to open things up before diving into a much more standard power-chord-driven riff, which is easily the heaviest riff on the release.  That sound is frequently spliced with more programming, some choral vocal lines, and singer Marco Cantoni's howling vocals.  This sets the stage for most of the rest of the songs, which manage to throw a number of other influences in as the album progresses.

Along the way, there are some strange moments which may be considered missteps depending on the listener.  For instance, "My Kingdom for a Horse" features some vocal segments that can best be described as akin to rapping.  Which is strange, to say the least.  Other sections feature more of the choral style, which is typically done quite well.  Much of the album relies on keyboards to drive the melody, which can be interesting when done well, but some of the more experimental sections can be a little strange.  And of course the track "Feel the Essence of Blues" is much more of a blues song than metal, which is a bit of an unusual and rather courageous addition.

The members of Cyrax are clearly talented musicians, which is the only reason that they are able to pull this album off.  It is a very strange and varied release that sees influences from a variety of non-metal genres, as well as metal.  Is it for everyone?  Probably not.  But it is certainly an entertaining and interesting release.

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