ALBUM REVIEW: Serious Black – Suite 226

Power metal lovers! Join me for a listening journey of a tale that is sorrowful and compelling in nature.

Suite 226 is a concept album that tells a tale of a mentally confused man who is torn between his own dreamworld, reality and evil. He has been held captive for many years in the dismal. Within the cold padded cell number 226, the inhuman condition of the rotten psychiatry driving him insane.

Let Me Go starts off with an electronic melody that is then accompanied by Dominik Sebastian’s haunting guitar riffs. The keyboards are beautifully orchestrated within this piece. Urban Breed’s vocals are projected with passion, they are also heartfelt when communicating the haunting theme of this track.

The dramatic opening of the When the Stars Are Right features powerful guitar and bass riffs. Urban portrays this tale well with his vocal talent. This track describes the journey into the fantasy world of the patient. This is his way of escaping from reality. The deep haunting gruff voice communicates to us the perils and battles going through the mentally tortured man’s mind.

Solitude kicks off with a strong melodic melody, which is beautifully orchestrated with Mario Lochert’s soft soul stirring bass riffs. The drums orchestration by Ramy Ali carves its way into this poignant piece by the presence of its atmospheric beat. Urban’s vocals communicates a sorrowful message relating to the theme of this album.

The upbeat tempo intro of Fate of All Humanity gives this track a happier feel. This piece features the cheerful sound of the playful keyboards. Urban’s vocals have introduced an optimistic feel to this. This track focuses on the mentally ill patient escaping to his happy place away from the pain and torture. These lyrics imply that in his world he is imagining himself as a saviour “when others in the world rely on you and me”.

Castiel is a heartfelt piece incorporating haunting guitar and bass riffs that fuse this piece together well. Urban pierces the melody with his sorrowful, powerful voice.  A prayer is uttered by the patient to the angel Castiel as an attempt to acquire help.

Heaven Shall Burn has an opening of classical elements leading into fast-paced powerful guitar riffs and heavy, robust bass line. Urban tells us about the patient’s lack of faith in heaven through who incredible vocalwork. The lyrics that demonstrate this are “we will be legends in our day when we take down heaven”.

Way Back Home is a dynamic, catchy and upbeat piece that features prominent guitars and bass lines. In which gives it its power metal sound like KAMELOT. Urban’s vocals give this track the qualities of a well-orchestrated piece. The theme of this track is that the patient longs to find his way back home. The lyrics that grabbed my attention are “I always dream of colour but always forgot and dreams turn into black and white”.

We Still Stand Tall starts off with an electronic melody then introduces passionate and influential bass. This song is well performed by Urban. Particularly with heartfelt lyrics communicating that the strength is there to battle against the pain and that in the end, we will stand tall.

Come Home has an melodical electronic beginning which transforms into a beautiful ballad piece. This track features haunting slow guitars then introduces a sorrowful bass line. Urban demonstrates his poignant soul stirring vocals. This song is a beautiful piece of art.

Suite 226 has an Indian inspired beginning to this track followed by heavy energetic bass riffs. It’s a beautiful melodic piece of music, that has sorrowful and descriptive lyrics for your imagination. Urban projects his vocals with power and force. These communicate that this dark, dismal place is where the patient is held prisoner but is given hope by the glimpse of the sun.

To sum up this piece it’s a beautifully haunting piece of art. Each track captivated me and encouraged me to explore the album to listen to the story that is being told within these lyrics.

Rating: 10/10

Words: Becky Weale

Suite 226 will be unleashed tomorrow via AFM Records.

Find SERIOUS BLACK on Facebook and their official website.

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