Symphorce - Truth To Promises (Noise) 1999
Symphorce's debut album is pretty much what anyone would expect from a German power metal band from the late 90's. They mix in bits of heavy riffs, tons of double bass and a lot of melodic sensibilities. However, despite being under the umbrella of "power metal" their sound is a bit unique to the genre in that they tend to incorporate more "modern" ideas, not unlike US band Nevermore. Some tracks have some 'groove' elements, though I think that sound would become more prevalent in future releases.
Of course as of writing this, anyone familiar with Andy B. Franck's bands, Symphorce and Brainstorm will assume they know what to expect from the iconic singer. However, I think on this first album he was still searching for his sound a bit. In fact, I hear bits of Bruce Dickinson in the sound, moreso than I had ever heard on any other album featuring Franck's voice.
"Truth to Promises" is a fantastic debut from a band who would only get better and better with age.
Symphorce - Sinctuary (Noise Records) 2001
Fantastic power metal! This is not keyboard saturated, dungeons and dragon metal. This is REAL metal with the guitars leading the attack and Andy Frank's clean, mid-range vocals souring along. The music is heavy but is a healthy mixture of both melody and aggression. Symphorce are also unique in that they don't sound exactly like the European bands, nor are their American roots immediately apparent. However, it's Andy B.Franck's vocals that really make this band stand out above the crowd. His style is unique and immediately recognizable. The band also knows how to write a good musical and lyrical hook. Fans of bands like Iced Earth, Nevermore and Brainstorm really need to check out Symphorce as well. They are without a doubt one of the bands that are resurrecting real heavy metal.
Symphorce - PhorcefulAhead (Metal Blade) 2002
1. "Speak My Mind"
Several people were recommending I check this band out based on my extreme liking of Brainstorm. I suppose since these two bands share the same vocalist people assumed I would like Symphorce as much as I like Brainstorm. Well, those people were correct. This CD absolutely annihilates. I cannot believe I hadn't heard these guys before. Imagine a mixture of Iced Earth and Dream Theater with the vocals of Brainstorm and you may get an idea of what "PhorcefulAhead" sounds like. Again, I say, this CD annihilates! While most progressive bands like Dream Theater spend more time with technical prowess and noodling than actually writing memorable songs, Symphorce take the best of both worlds. The heaviness of straight forward metal like Iced Earth or Brainstorm with more technical song structures, yet without losing the hooks. The production is outstanding as well. Buzzsaw guitars cut through even my cheap Toyota car speakers leaving my jaw on the floor. Of course the vocals are outstanding as well, making the whole package outstanding. I will most certainly be adding more Symphorce to my collection.Symphorce - Twice Second (Metal Blade) 2004
Absolutely stunning! Oh yes! All I can say is that this is truly one of the best CDs to grace my CD player in 2004. After a short intro of oceans sounds and whale noises, this album kicks into a feast of heavy metal with a slightly modern flare. That's not to say that Symphorce are going for a modern rock sound, but they have morphed into a slightly more progressive band that reminds me of Nevermore from time to time. Everything about this CD screams, from the production, to the diverse songwriting, to the biting guitar riffs, to the awesome vocal performance of Andy B.Franck to the smokin' guitar solos. If you are a fan of traditional metal, power metal, progressive metal, or even melodic thrash and you don't own this CD, you are seriously missing out. Symphorce rule!
Symphorce - Godspeed (Metal Blade) 2005
"Godspeed" is a high quality, power metal assault with some slight progressive tendencies. Unlike some power metal bands though, this is not light weight, keyboard infested, d&d, light weight metal. Rather this is real heavy metal. with emphasis on the word "heavy"! Thanks to some downtuned guitars and the beefy production, some songs have a slightly more modern feel to them. "The Mirrored Room" for instance has a groovy, downtuned guitar break that leads into a nice guitar lead. "Black Water" even has a slight nu-metal vibe to it. GASP!!! Did I just commit power metal blasphemy or what? However, don't think this is some nu-metal sell out album. In contrast, "No Shelter" actually reminds me of something that Iced Earth might do. No, this is not a sellout, this is real metal complete with excellent guitar solos, heavy guitar riffs, melodic passages, memorable songs, tempo changes and even some fast double bass. As usual, Andy B. Franck is fantastic. His powerhouse voice just takes this band to new levels of excellence. Coupled together with a tight band, "Godspeed" might very well be Symphorce's best release yet. This is what modern metal should sound like.
Symphorce - Become Death (Metal Blade) 2007
1. "Darkness Fills
The Sky" (4:53)
Symphorce is a band I have like for a long time. Due to sharing singer Andy B. Franck with Brainstorm, there is always a comparison between the two. I personally have always preferred Brainstorm to Symphorce because they employed a more straight forward heavy metal and thrash approach. Symphorce always seemed to be a bit more progressive to me. Of course they have always incorporated heavy guitars, big melodies and soaring vocals. However, on "Become Death" Symphorce sound much more aggressive, with grittier, crunchier guitars and an almost thrash vibe. Sweet! Franck's vocals are also more intense. On some songs he incorporates a lower and rougher style and gets really close to a thrashy growl at times. That's not to say that he doesn't also employ his incredible power metal style as well. Quite frankly, Symphorce have turned up the intensity on this, their sixth CD. They have completely shed the prog-metal label, but certainly they have gained a whole lot more thrash and power metal in their sound. Prog fans may frown up this and see it as the band taking a step backwards. However, the way I see it, Symphorce are evolving, refining and taking big steps forward. Limited Edition comes with bonus live DVD.