Symphorce - _Become Death_
(Metal Blade, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
A decade ago, Symphorce would have been hot shit; their death metal and dark wave aesthetics seating them comfortably alongside names like Crematory and End of Green. Their penchant for brief, but prevalent, power metal flourishes would likewise have won them the approval of the "Dungeons & Dragons" crowd.Sadly for these Germans, we live now in distinctly more cynical times. There's no getting around the watertight production job that envelopes their sixth full-length, and at first the crushing opening riff to "Darkness Fills the Sky" and the Nevermore-esque chorus that lifts "In the Hope of a Dream" out of the quagmire, provide cause to -- at the very least -- be optimistic about the album's remaining eight tracks. But between Andy Franck's hopelessly uneven vocals and an almost omnipresent feeling that the record sounds dated without intending to, Symphorce just never quite manage to push _Become Death_ past the point of being totally and utterly superfluous.
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