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Album of the Month: Sons of Seasons – ‘Magnisphyricon’

19 May, 2011

My working weeks seem to be increasingly busy at the moment, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce a new series of posts. Music is a huge part of my life and I’ve decided it’s time I talked about it a bit more here on the blog. To kick off, I’m going to be posting details of a new musical discovery every month. I’ll keep these posts short and sweet (I’m aware that metal, and the corners of it that I particularly enjoy, are something of a niche interest), but I hope they’ll enourage people to go out and listen to new bands and new genres that they wouldn’t otherwise have come across.

So, first up for my Album of the Month is Sons of Seasons’s ‘Magnisphyricon’. Sons of Seasons occupy that corner of the power/prog/symphonic metal genre in which you’d also find bands like Kamelot, Epica and perhaps Symphony X’s earlier albums. It’s fair to say that, from ‘Magnisphyricon’s’ short, atmospheric opening, there’s a great deal of Kamelot in particular in their sound. The vocals, the drumming, the twiddly keyboard bits. Indeed, the two bands recently toured together, with Sons of Seasons’s main songwriter also being the current keyboardist for Kamelot.

At this point, it would be fairly easy to pass off the band as just a Kamelot clone. To do so would completely ignore how brilliant an album ‘Magnisphyricon’ is. To start with, it’s incredibly accomplished – it’s only the band’s second album, but is just as slick and compelling as the best work of similar bands who’ve written a dozen. There’s also a harder edge to ‘Magnisphyricon’ that recalls not only Symphony X – as I mentioned above – but even bands like Nevermore (admittedly, that might be a bit of a stretch, but I can hear it at times). Put the two together, and you’ve got a far more interesting listen. Whilst ‘Bubonic Waltz’ could have come straight off Kamelot’s ‘Black Halo’ album, ‘Guilt’s Mirror’ has a much heavier sound. There are also a number of instrumental passages on the album that are more complex than you’d typically find on a power metal album, but they only serve to make ‘Magnisphyricon’ more interesting.

If you like either Kamelot or Epica, it’s safe to say that you’ll enjoy Sons of Seasons. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the genre though, ‘Magnisphyricon’ wouldn’t be a bad place to start. It’s varied, it’s catchy and it’s enjoyable from start to finish. Even if ‘Magnisphyricon’ is a pain in the arse to spell half a dozen times…

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