CYGNUS – THE FIRST HOUR (Independent)

Review by Officer Nice: Belgium hasn’t been in the news on a positive way lately. Even President Trump called our country a shithole and to be honest…sometimes this place really is disgusting, especially when we talk about politics. On the other hand it isn’t that bad living here and we all get opportunities, although we pay lots of taxes for it. If we talk about Metal I can say we have a good scène with a nice history. New talent are trying to receive a place in the spotlights, but in an oversaturated Metal scène it isn’t that obvious. In the Eighties, every band was new and interesting, nowadays there’s too much to hear, there’s too much to see.

Cygnus is a local band and really delivers some first class Progressive Metal. The staff of Metal To Infinity probably knows I like this kind of Progressive touches. For me it is the most intelligent kind of Metal, but only a few bands succeeds in the goal touching souls with it by combining intelligence, technical musicianship and melodic lines that stays in your brains forever. Fates Warning, old Queensryche and Lethal were the big examples. Talking about Cygnus I can already say this is a good attempt. These Belgian guys really know how to compose and perform good songs. Take your time and you’ll discover how strong this band really is. I hear excessive compositions with heavy load riffs, varied arrangements, technical played drums and a good singer.

On “Skin People”, the opening track, Cygnus sometimes flirts with the boundaries of the more Grunge kind of Rock. I don’t know if this was meant to be, but it sounds that way to me…but don’t worry, Cygnus is technical enough to be and remain a Progressive Metal band. ”Before Sunrise” is more my cup of tea and is an awesome song, with lots of breaks, hooks everywhere and again outstanding musicianship. The leads are fantastic to hear and singer Frank Vermeiren shows how strong he really is. Cygnus combines the old school with a modern touch and demonstrates what good Metal is all about. I adore the guitars, the vocals are strong and the robust base of bass and drums really empowers this great track.

Erik Callaert (Omega X) really is gifted musician, no doubts about that. This song has it’s fine moments, contains a good dark atmosphere and… on some points it touches the soul, awesome! The beginning of “Cyborg” reminds me to Fates Warning, let this be one of my all-time favorite Metal bands. Not that there are many singers on this globe, as good and crystal clear as Ray Alder, but musical wise I can easily hear influences. Singer Frank Vermeiren also contains a strong pair of lungs but he contains a typical Rock voice, a bit raw yet clear. Don’t expect high screams or soaring vocals, this is just Belgian dynamite! In one or another way you’ll be touched by it! And again I hear fine played guitars, played by a very gifted man. I hear the band adding a special atmosphere into their music, I am really enjoying it. Ending with “War” Cygnus proves that Belgium has muscles when we talk about Metal. This is an instrumental heavy song, showing again how good these musicians are.

Well, Cygnus was unknown to me, but from now on these lads will always have my attention. I am already longing to hear more, I hope to see them on stage once. Actually you should spread the words about them, I’m quite sure that fans of traditional Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal and Power Metal will be pleased with this goodie. The production is strong, the digipack is worth your money. Awesome stuff you can purchase at http://www.cygnusofficial.com.

My rating: 89/100  (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)    

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