• Serdce - Timelessness (2014) - Versatile revolution from Belarusian underground - 96% (02/01/15)

    Serdce - Timelessness (2014)

    Serdce is a highly talented progressive metal quartet from the Belarusian capital Minsk. Even though the band comes from one of the most isolated places in the Western world, the four men have been around since 1997 and released two demos as well as four professional full length efforts. The band's musicianship is technically impressive and one can clearly hear that the quartet is especially influenced by North American bands such as Atheist, Cynic and Dream Theater from the United States of America or Martyr and UneXpect from Canada. The band also recalls some original European progressive extreme metal outfits like Coroner from Switzerland, Pestilence from the Netherlands or maybe even Le Grand Guignol from Luxembourg. In comparison to several other progressive extreme metal bands, Serdce clearly emphasize on original song writing including entirely progressive and technically challenging bits and pieces and diversified influences from multiple genres.

    On the band's most recent fourth studio effort "Timelessness", the quartet has crafted a profound, calm and retrospective side reminding here and there of meditative Indian and Middle Eastern folklore as performed by Kartikeya or Orphaned Land with the use of duduks and jew's harps. In the same vein, Serdce convinces with laid back and psychedelic progressive rock sounds driven by appeasing guitar melodies and thick numbing keyboard layers from the sixties and seventies in the key of Genesis, Pink Floyd and Yes. The playful quartet also includes some challenging and sometimes hectical instrumental parts with clipped and high guitar notes, fast and hysterical keyboard passages and some vivid jazz fusion sounds carried by additional saxophones recalling Dream Theater and Pestilence among others. Sometimes, calmer passages can be contrasted by hectical instrumental parts culminating into passionate extreme metal outbursts with beefy riffs, fast rhythm sections and vocals that may suddenly vary from calm, melodic and almost thin lines to loud, aggressive and expressive parts or vice versa. While a few songs may have oddly surprising twists and turns, most tracks sound perfectly coherent, sophisticated and well-structured. The balance between deep atmospheric breaks, insane instrumental masturbation and liberating violence is nearly perfect and should please to any progressive metal fan. The whole record never gets too boring, pointless or weird over a fitting running time of almost sixty-six minutes and the album is neither too short nor too long. The clever mixture of genres sounds fresh and timeless at the same time.

    It's always difficult to name outstanding tracks on progressive metal records but a song that perfectly represents all three sides of the band including laid back progressive rock passages, vivid and extensive instrumental parts and furious extreme metal eruptions is the well done epic "Last Faith" which is the longest song on here and nearly reaches the ten-minute mark. If you like this track as an appetizer, you are going to adore the entire record, hence the band's entire oeuvre. If you care for the band's calmer side with a fragile progressive rock ambience and some smooth keyboard, piano and saxophone sounds, lay down on your bed, close your eyes, put your headphones on and discover the perfectly entitled "Loss Of Feelings Or Feelings Of Loss". If you care for the more technical and violent side of the band, you should try out the apocalyptical, menacing and noisy "Quasar" where the listener might feel like a punching bag for destructive atmosphere, negative energy and unconventional song writing. This track may be the most challenging on the record but also one of the most fascinating in ist radical execution.

    The band pretty much succeeds at everything it tries out. "Timelessness" is an outburst of creativity, diversity and emotions. All main and guest musicians and singers have their shining moments and give their very best. The record has fluid transitions and feels coherent from the beginning to the end despite a few entertainingly radical experiments. The production is surprisingly good, the label gives ist best to promote the underground group and even the cover artwork and booklet look great. The only little thing the band could still improve is the development of a more unique sound. I hope and believe that one day, fans, experts and reviewers might not say that Serdce sounds like Dream Theater, Pestilence or UneXpect but that some other brand new contemporary bands will be compared to Serdce. If you want to support the band to achieve this honorable task, listen to "Timelessness" and spread the word of one of last year's very best progressive metal albums along with the latest outputs of Cea Serin and Leviathan.

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