It has been a while that I have seen a band releasing an album saying it’s power metal. But at the same time power metal as a genre is something that is a bit controversial and everyone seems to have their own opinion as to what is power metal. Apparently Nightwish is power metal, I don’t personally think so. But what is a definition of power metal?
Power metal is highly focused on the vocalist, with “clean” vocals being much more prevalent than the growling vocals often associated with extreme metal. – Wikipedia
Well let’s put the genres aside and talk about what truly matters, the music. FOLLOW THE CIPHER hails from Falun, Sweden and their self titled debut album will be released on May 11th through Nuclear Blast. FOLLOW THE CIPHER’s story started in May 2014, when Ken Kängström decided to start a band with the intention to be different from everything else in the music scene. That was quite bold to say the least. After giving quite a few runs on their album I do have to admit that there is something unique there. I mean at the same time it offers nothing brand new but there is something that stands them out. And I am not talking about the hair colour of the vocalist Linda Toni Grahn although that stands out as well!
In my own personal opinion the album is not power metal. In fact it’s a mixture of everything and THAT makes it exciting. You have the beautiful voice of Linda Toni Grahn, you have clean male vocals, you even get some growling. But hey, having female and male vocalist these days is more like a must than an exception. As for songs on the album they written with time and care. I mean if the band was put together in 2014 and they are releasing their debut album 2018. I think the actual challenge will be their next album. Usually the second album shows the future for the band. If I would predict the future of Follow The Cipher solely on their debut album it would be bright like the sun.
When I review an album I have a pretty simple concept. I give the album roughly 5 runs and after that I have a very clear opinion. How many songs have stuck on your mind? Are there any melodies that sticks to your mind? Sound is also very important cause releasing an album these days with poor sound is a big no. Luckily with Follow The Cipher there are no worries concerning that. Sounds are crystal clear and that alone makes the experience more enjoyable.
On the album my absolute favourites are the album opener “Enter The Cipher“. It sends you off to a nice start on this album. “Starlight” which shows the more brutal side of Follow The Cipher. “Titan’s Call” which raises to epic portions that makes your skin crawl. And of course the album ender, “Carolus Rex” known better from their fellow Swedes Sabaton but Ken Kängström was co-writing and co-producing the song with Joakim Brodén from Sabaton so making a cover from it was only natural. After checking some Youtube comments from the song people consider it as the best cover made from the song. And I agree.
Overall Follow The Cipher was a very pleasant experience and I am looking forward to see how far this band can go. They are off to a very good start with a very good debut album. But don’t get fooled by the “power metal” genre it’s far more than that, thank god.