Song: The Monster Within Band: Seraphic Area: Brisbane Date of release: 27th of August 2018 Genre: Symphonic Metal Record Label: Independent For Fans Of: Epica, Nightwish, Dark Moor, Delain
“You administer the drug that keeps the demons, At bay...”
Fronted by former Alpine Fault vocalist Sam Wolstenholme, Seraphic are a five piece symphonic metal group originating from Brisbane, Australia; their sonic characteristics founded upon heavy riffage, symphonic piano leads and operatic female vocals. Since their beginnings in 2015, Seraphic have seen the release of their acclaimed debut album ‘Journey to Illumination’ (2017) as well as a spot supporting American Metal icons Queensÿrche during their 2016 Australian Tour! Now, with the release of their follow up single ‘The Monster Within’, it is time to see how the symphonic powerhouse builds upon their sound!
The track begins with a nice sense of symphonic familiarity that will instantly capture any fan of Seraphic and the genre. Soft arpeggiated piano riffs, clean guitar leads and huge drum fills quickly heat things up and build into an eruption of distorted guitar riffage and awesome piano melodies that reintroduce us to the sound that defines Seraphic whilst simultaneously expanding upon this with a more modern compositional approach. Riffs manifest with a much more straightforward and simplified approach than that which is found on ‘Journey to Illumination’, and I don’t consider that a downfall at all! We also get to hear some rad harsh vocals from Bassist Michael Bates a little further into the track! These additions create an amount of accessibility for metalheads of the modern era whilst allowing itself to meet the expectations which fans of Seraphic may withhold coming fresh out of their debut. Heavy, addiction themed lyrics shine as Wolstenholme’s vocal performance is absolutely immaculate!! Guitarists Erwin Febrianto and Raouf Araji lay down some impressive shreds and trade solos in a glorious fashion! Everything fits together quite nicely and is complemented by great mixing which allows every role their own moments to shine.
Now whilst full of indisputably impressive performances, there are in my opinion, a few lacklustre moments that hold this track back. For instance, there is a breakdown that hits at around the 3 minute-30 second mark of the song. Upon my listening, I felt as though the transition seemed a tad anticlimactic, lacking the weight and heaviness that Seraphic sought to produce with the addition of this section. I also can’t help but feel that the sudden key change in the track’s final chorus is somewhat predictable and a little clichéd... although once again, Wolstenholme’s vocals are damn impressive here! Though these moments do not severely tarnish ‘The Monster Within’ at all, some may feel an amount of tedium upon listening, particularly newcomers to Seraphic and Symphonic Metal.
All in all, ‘The Monster Within’ delivers a great follow up to Seraphic’s debut album ‘Journey to Illumination’, revolving around their own familiar sound whilst serving as an modern expansion to the composition and productional facets of their music. Whilst I personally felt this evolution presented few minor drawbacks, performances are top notch across the board (especially vocals!!!) and with some development, I have no doubt that whatever Seraphic bring next is bound to be killer!!
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST): 3/5
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10