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2nd Sight – Samsara

2nd Sight
by Santiago Puyol at 04 November 2019, 10:52 PM

SECOND SIGHT is a Melodic Heavy Metal band, with a strong 1980s Metal sound and subtle Progressive Metal influences. This German sextet seems to take a couple notes from legendary countrymen SCORPIONS, especially on the early, more complex era of the band, while emoting some melodrama from IRON MAIDEN on the singing department. Coming December 20th, 2019, "Samsara" is the reissue of their 2016 release, following 2008’s "Second Sight."

Things get started with the very 1980s sounding title track. "Samsara" features several, quite abrupt tempo changes and some aggressive, intense drumming as a counterpoint to the melodic style. A lengthy, soft section in the middle emphasizes reverb-heavy guitar textures while a power outro puts a full stop to a mostly good track.

"Butterfly Effect" comes next with its driving rhythm and groovy bassline. Kolja adds some mysterious, almost folky vibes with his tom-tom work. While it is a very fun track, it is marred by awkward songwriting. The several shifts of the track make for a fractured, confusing structure. Each section feels interesting in itself, but the song as a whole does not feel cohesive. Meanwhile, "Balancing Act" shows a stronger side of the band’s compositional skills, with a haunting feel, belligerent vocal delivery and great interplay of the rhythm section.

The power ballad "Elegy" follows the trend, with a melancholic guitar tone, a melodic bassline and some subtle acoustic guitar. It is quite reminiscent of Glam Metal ballads at their best; think some of GUNS N’ ROSES’ or BON JOVI’s gentle work.

"Healing Hands" takes a more Progressive approach with great execution. In contrast with the first two tracks of the album, transitions are very well done, adorned with powerful choruses, vocal harmonies and some nasty, bluesy Classic Rock-inspired solos. Some delicate piano playing is sprinkled around the five-minute mark, while uplifting, clean guitar patterns bring the song to an end.

Nothing new gets add by "Voyager," a reasonably good track that gets lost between the eight-minute monsters that are "Healing Hands" and the disorienting, intense second-to-last track "The Giving Pledge." Anchored on an irregular time signature, the song gets quite heavy and intense, getting into RAINBOW drama territory at its most immediate.

The epic closer, "Harnessing God’s Sorrow," is a mammoth track with its 14 minutes, being the longest on the album. It opens with a spoken word intro, filled with weird, horror movie-like wind sound effects. Bassist Dennis shows off with some groovy bass runs, while the three-guitar attack of the band makes for a ton of technically impeccable playing, with subtle Middle Eastern influences bleeding into the track.

"Samsara" is an enjoyable record, even if it suffers from uneven songwriting and a somewhat sterile production. The guitars and drums sound thin and lifeless at points, while the bass is mostly present but lacks some depth and warmth. With better production and a little polishing on the songwriting department, 2nd Sight could have delivered a better work.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Samsara
2. Butterfly Effect
3. Balancing Act
4. Elegy
5. Healing Hands
6. Voyager
7. The Giving Pledge
8. Harnessing God’s Sorrow
– Vocals
Stellan – Guitars
Andrés - Guitars
José - Guitars
Dennis – Bass
Kolja – Drums
Record Label: Kernkraftritter Records


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