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Siren's Cry - "Scattered Horizons" (CD)

Siren's Cry - "Scattered Horizons" CD cover image

"Scattered Horizons" track listing:

1. Introitus (1:39)
2. S3V3N (6:37)
3. Oratory & Sins (5:06)
4. Elegy Of R’lyeh (7:37)
5. Draconian Spectrum (5:45)
6. Cold Amber & Scalding Tears (3:45)
7. Sahara Sagas, Pt. I (I: Overture – Sands of Time; II: Beyond the Veil; III: The Unravelling; IV: Shahryar - The Great King, V: Astray) (9:35)
8. Serpents Of War (4:41)
9. Controversial Mind (8:57)

Reviewed by on November 20, 2012

"The 'Introitus' of the debut from Siren’s Cry is a precursor to one of the finest debuts in the symphonic/progressive realms, both a 're-imaginaerum' for a genre of superabundance and a release of monumental musicianship dripping with musical acumen."

A wall of sound bent through a swirling tunnel…like a dream or state of unconsciousness. The memories flash in your mind with a glittering and blinding light. Just before you have the opportunity to shout the antiphon….it stops for a brief pause before erupting into a kaleidoscope of spiritual composition scattering into the horizons. The “Introitus” of the debut from Austria's Siren’s Cry is a precursor to one of the finest debuts in the symphonic/progressive realms, both a "re-imaginaerum" for a genre of superabundance and a release of monumental musicianship dripping with musical acumen.

Siren’s Cry has been kicking around the scene since 1999 and in those thirteen years, the band is finally shopping its debut album “Scattered Horizons,” initially self-released early in 2012. Any label that overlooks this release for worldwide distribution only does a large future fan base a disservice, as this is the virtual Noah in a flood of “female symphonic metal acts.” To describe Siren’s Cry is like having an incantation wrapped in an arrangement wrapped in a rhapsody wrapped in an orchestra. Alternatively, it would be Dream Theater successfully performing Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The dizzying array of progression bursts forth a ceaseless cacophony of cloud kissing levels.

A tornado of progressive metal surrounds a lone grand piano playing majestically as in the days of Bach. Guitar and choir work create the tight bands of clouds as the drums, bass, and key work provide the thunder and lightning within its vortex. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? This is the feeling exuding from the album’s best track “Elegy of R’lyeh” (the fictional lost city of “The Call of Cthulhu”). Over the course of this seven plus minute dream, I realize that this was the journey promised from Nightwish’s “Imaginaerum,” now from an unexpected, even unforeseeable source. The song’s most capricious turn is astounding jazz breakdown from 5:16 to 5:54.

“Draconian Spectrum” is the album’s speediest track with stunning orchestration much in the vein of Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. “Cold Amber & Scalding Tears” highlights the breadth of Kataraina Bilak’s voice, which is so much more than operatic and nearly reaches that “Simone plateau” (the female equivalent of the “Fabio plateau”). On “Sahara Sagas, Pt. I,” Bilak bursts forth like a hot wind across the African plain just below the six minute mark as the song soaks up the rich Arabic culture. Just when you believed the album couldn’t attain any more complexities, so begins “A Controversial Mind:” a whirlwind microcosm of the album itself.

As much as it is grueling to pick a sole winner on the album, it is more arduous to pick one outstanding musician. The group effort, headed up by band founder Phillip R. Porter (Dignity) and voiced by the lovely and brilliant Bilak, it is easy to spot how much music is infused in not only the lives of the members of this five piece, but their families. The perfect production emboldens the arrangements giving it the life it needs to spread its wings and fly.

The transition from orchestral/standard/classical to metal may seem overindulged, but with “Scattered Horizons” it is surpassed by so few. “The members present a debut with the talent of a seasoned veteran,” would not only be the understatement of the year, but an inaccurate one. Here, they really are seasoned veterans, who through little fault of their own, present a debut that should be on the top of the label’s list and on the stereos of every progressive and symphonic metal fan.

Highs: A stunning debut and a symphonic progressive masterpiece.

Lows: Some fans may find this a bit over the top.

Bottom line: Siren's Cry lures progressive fans with enchanting music and voices scattered across horizons.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)