Serious Black - Mirrorworld

Serious Black - Mirrorworld

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(CD, Afm Records, 2016)

I was really happy when I read that Urban Breed had joined SERIOUS BLACK. I loved what he did with TAD MOROSE. Frankly, I think he’s one of the best vocalist around when it comes to melodic and powerful Heavy Metal. The else international SERIOUS BLACK has all the qualities expected and performance-wise it is flawless from start to end.

“Mirrorworld”, being the band's second full length release, raises the expectation, since the 2015 release, “As Daylight Breaks”, impressed setting also the bar high. First track out “As Long As I’m Alive” (after the instrumental intro “Breaking The Surface”) sets the mood directly; it’s a catchy, easy going and a great opening for the album. The darker and moodier “Castor Skies” has resemblances with Urban’s former employer, until the chorus-line at least. Here, the song turns to a more light-weight, KAMELOT-esque type of vocal line. It all works very well together and Urban’s voice work for both parts. Also, “Heartbroken Soul” touches upon the musical landscapes where TAD MOROSE is roaming. The mellow verses hold a melancholy which works perfectly; the take up, rise of intensity towards the chorus-line are fantastic while the chorus is still very melodic though. SERIOUS BLACK is not utterly unique though; apart from aforementioned influences more classic bands can also be traced, like RAINBOW (of the Ronnie James Dio era) with classic melodies shaped up with a modern sound. It’s a matter of taste what you prefer of course, but I like the old school organic sound. So, there’s no denying that SERIOUS BLACK’s “Mirrorworld” sounds fantastic as an entity.

The phrasing of the riffs in “You're Not Alone” makes the drive in the already up-tempo song even more intense. This rhythm makes the song stand out and set it as one of my favorites from the album. The classic sounding title-track is another favorite; the chorus line is catchy yet, there are instrumental passages in the song which makes it more of an epic. This comes in as a very nice break since the rest of the record is rather intense and the songs are compact as there are things going on most all the time. Also, the vocal line in the chorus sounds fantastic, Urban’s high pitched voice still sound fantastic and perhaps it could be used more than it is. It took a few spins before realizing what song “Emotional Blackmail” resemblances to. From a key perspective, plus the bridge in the middle one sure walks a little too much to HEART’s mega-hit from the '80s, “Alone”. As also the lyrics can be paralleled to the same song, it’s on the verge of too much. Another favorite is the closing “The Unborn Never Die”; again, presents fantastic melodies and a very good drive. This song is a bit rawer than the rest, the verses are tougher and the contrast works perfectly towards the melodic chorus-line.

After getting the digi-pack version and throwing it on, I thought the album was very long. Looking at it, I realized this version held seven bonus tracks, including “Emotional Blackmail” which is quite a lot. It’s always good to get more music of course but it’s easy that the real release get drown under the music provided. Also that the songs are mixed in with the album tracks makes it all even more confusing.

For me, a more organic and rawer sound would have taken this record further up the list. It sounds perfect and sometimes that is the problem, there should be some filth and dirt in Heavy Metal. It’s a matter of taste, like I said, else “Mirrorworld” is a great Heavy Metal album.





01. Breaking The Surface (instrumental)
02. As Long As I'm Alive
03. Castor Skies
04. Heartbroken Soul
05. Dying Hearts
06. You're Not Alone
07. Mirrorworld
08. State Of My Despair
09. The Unborn Never Die
Bonus tracks:
10. Emotional Blackmail
11. The Life That You Want
12. This Machine Is Broken
13. Hello Moon
14. Goodbye My Angel
15. I Show You My Heart (Acoustic)
16. Sealing My Fate (Acoustic)


Urban Breed - Vocals
Bob Katsionis - Guitars
Dominik Sebastian - Guitars
Mario Lochert - Bass
Jan Vacik - Keyboards
Alex Holzwarth - Drums