Rating:
7.8
Southern Cross - Down Below
1 June 2009


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


Power Metal
Label: SC Productions
Canada: 2009
Length: 50:38

Line-Up on the CD:
Vocals, guitars: David Lizotte
Guitars, vocals: Olivier Perrier-Maurel
Bass, backing vocals: Jean-François Boudreault - (Hidden Skeyes)
Drums: Frédéric St-Onge
Keyboards: Jean-Benoit Lemire


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?

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Website: http://www.southerncrossmetal.com


 


written by Jeff | 06.09.2009



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The Shape 1973 - 06.09.2009 at 15:03  
Sounds very like Serenity, vocalist looks like the kid who got beaten up at school.

Wouldn't say it was particularly original though.

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