Rating:
7.4
Southern Cross - From Tragedy
1 March 2012


01. Tightrope
02. Between The Lines
03. Carousel
04. Invisible Roads
05. Reaching The Bottom
06. Poetry
07. Violento [bonus]


Rating supplement: Although it doesn't come without flaws, this was a relatively enjoyable listen and it should sate you while you're waiting for upcoming releases by your favorite prog metal bands.

Southern Cross hail from Quebec, Canada and their career path so far has taken curious turns: their debut was completely in the vein of dark power metal, the follow-up was enhanced with progressive influences (both albums were reviewed by Metal Storm's Jeff in 2007 and 2009) and their latest offering, From Tragedy is completely in style of classic - one could even say orthodox - progressive metal. Their first trip deep into the heart of Progland is indeed well-planned and well-executed, although From Tragedy's biggest advantages are also its biggest downsides.

The first thing you'll notice about the music is that it's incredibly relaxing. Songs never (excluding the bonus track, which harks to the band's speedy past) go above medium pace and, although they do pick up in intensity towards the middle of each track, the impression is never overbearing. This is partly due to band's way of playing - vocals are restrained and highly melodic, lyrics fit the vocal melodies like a glove and solos are rare and tasteful. The synths often take the lead from the guitar, but the music still sounds "metal enough" due to guitar being higher up in the mix, exactly the way I like it.

Although the aforementioned qualities make their sound quite memorable, the album's homogeneity is its fatal flaw. Even though the melodies are crafted very well, when you have an album full of songs structured in exactly the same way, it has to do wonders to hold your attention. Also, I prefer my progressive metal more punishing - heavier, and/or more intense, and/or more haunting/atmospheric. The middle ground usually doesn't have the power to entice me, but I can safely conclude that, since the quality of the music won a part of me over, the rest of you progsters should at least check this one out. As for people who are not usually drawn to the genre (if any one of you made it until the end of the review, that is) - their music is (refreshingly) not heavy on "wankery" and similar things people tend to hate in progressive metal, but I believe Southern Cross will not go down well with you. You're welcome to prove me wrong on that though.


Website: http://www.southerncrossmetal.com


 



Written on 09.05.2012 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



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Dark Blood - 10.05.2012 at 01:09  
*Added to my wishlist*

The review is pretty convincing and the few minutes that I've heard I liked it. I will at least give it a try.

Good review
Nosurper - 10.05.2012 at 01:36  
Much cooler artwork than Odium's latest
xRichardx - 10.05.2012 at 01:37  
I checked out the two songs that were featured on their website - i liked it well enough to give it more attention than usual! - it kind of reminds me of Demians a bit...
Crazy Booduh - 10.05.2012 at 19:21  
Great album with more complex arrangements than their previous work, but yeah, it's easily the "least metal" of their three albums.

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