01. Weak And Sober 02. Open Scars 03. Thirteen 04. As Goodwill Falls 05. Undisclosed 06. Something Vile 07. Whistle For The Dead 08. The Pawn 09. Left For Dead
Nowadays it's not really easy to find good Power Metal (and I'm not talking about US Power). A lot of bands do mega melodic fast music but in general this is weak and boring in the end and I still don't understand how some metalheads can be attracted by all those newcomers... The funny thing is that we will have to cross the ocean to find good new Power Metal act a la European sauce, and if you don't know them yet I hope that you'll remember their name which is Southern Cross.
Down Below is a Power Metal release which doesn't lack of energy and big riffs. The thing here is that the songs aren't "happy" if you see what I mean and we even have some Death vocals sometime in addition of some thrashy riffs. I cannot say that Southern Cross can be compared to [band]Iced Earth[/b] which is a lot more aggressive in general but Down Below is not a new Dragonforce too. The Canadians have guts and play powerful music which is improved by some interesting keyboards lines which add a real Prog touch to the music. Sometime we're not even so far of [band]Andromeda/[band] like on "Undisclosed" for example. Don't believe that it's pure Prog too but these additions are nice and give certain originality to the music. This is just too bad that some songs like "Weak And Sober" are a bit too mellow but all in all this is obvious that Southern Cross is getting better with time, Down Below being better than and a lot more personal than the previous album.
The production is also better and it's obvious that all the guys sound more confident in their way to play music. Down Below is a typical album which follow a good progression, this is not perfect yet but it sounds like a real evolution in the short career of Southern Cross. If the band can follow this way and even add some more violence to their future songs, it should be perfect! They have good tunes and catchy melodies, that's promising really.
Southern Cross is what Power Metal should be. Big riffs, blasting double bass drums (of course…) but deep melodies with "something else" (here the Prog lines of the keyboards)! If you're into Power and are looking for something a bit more original, Down Below is for you and I'm even sure that fans of some other metal genres will like it… Why couldn't you try?