Serious Black - 'Magic'

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Serious Black - 'Magic'

This is a must for fans of Melodic Power Rock.

Serious Black are the European Union of Metal featuring six guys from five different countries brought together initially by ex-Helloween guitarist Roland Grapow and Visions Of Atlantis's bassist Mario Lochert, although Grapow left after the band's first album in 2015. Moving forward two years, we are now on the band's third album 'Magic', and along with Lochert, the present line-up consists of vocalist Urban breed, the guitar duo of Dominik Sebastian and Bob Katsionis, keyboard wizard Jan Vacik and drummer Alex Holzwarth. Taking the next step from 2016's excellent 'Mirrorworld', 'Magic' is a concept album telling the story of the mysterious Mr. Nightmist.

After the short intro, the first track, 'Binary Magic', is a solid and powerful piece which introduces the character whose story we are about to experience. The first thing that hits you is the immense depth the music has, with the sum of all parts perfectly mixing together. 'Burn! Witches Burn!' is a superb song, breed's vocal are mesmerizing as is the powerful music pulling you through the song. The story follows on, constructed into songs such as the slower-paced 'Now You'll Never Know', before building up to the enticing 'Serious Black Magic'.

'Mr. Nightmist' continues the journey, this offering contains some wonderful guitars splitting the sounds between the two, a track that manages to showcase all the individual parts, but put together, produce such a deep monumental sound. The slow starting 'Just Kill Me' makes you think it's ballad time but then the power kicks in to produce another memorable highlight. 'Newfound Freedom', a powerful guitar-driven Rocker, and the epic 'One Final Song', a track that starts on the floor and just builds you up to an uplifting final act (a beautiful song that ends a stunning piece of music), are all songs that are individually accessible, but together, they produce a wonderful piece of work that deserves repeated listens.

Having had both the first two albums since release, I can safely say that 'Magic' has taken Serious Black to the next level; a cleverly written story supplemented with some fantastic individual performances that, when added together, certainly produce a piece of magic.

If you liked the first two albums, you will love this release. This is a must for fans of Melodic Power Rock; as a story performed without a growling vocalist, it gets my vote.

Mick Parry

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