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Cullooden - Silent Scream Award winner

Silent Scream
by Daniel Fox at 12 December 2013, 2:42 PM

As a devoted Metal enthusiast, I would have to label Progressive Metal as my musical niche, as I'm sure many other people have 'their genre'. As it happens, most of the best Progressive Metal, I find, come from Scandinavia; SEVENTH WONDER of Sweden, CIRCUS MAXIMUS of Norway and ANUBIS GATE of Denmark. Alas, my senses are graced by a newer band out of the area: Sweden's CULLOODEN. While some of the music is nearer to Hard Rock roots, the progressive metal flourishes are still extremely noticeable. What originally drew me into loving this band's debut album are the vocals; infinitely powerful in all the vocal ranges sung at, and instantly reminded me of SEVENTH WONDER and KAMELOT's Tommy Karevik.

If there are a handful of tracks on this album that would indisputably be considered Metal, it would be the opening track, “Heaven Feels so Hollow”. It opens just like a FATES WARNING song, and plays just like one, but rife with many catchy hooks typical of Hard Rock, especially in the infectious chorus. As I had hoped, there were definitely enough Proggy-sounding, Jazzy sections involving wistful guitar and atmospheric keyboard melodies, which would soon enough transition into something ultimately Metallic. Further along is “Endless Tears”, which happens to contain memorable nuances reminiscent of each of my three (aforementioned) favorite Prog bands. The classy arrangements of CIRCUS MAXIMUS, the excellent vocals of SEVENTH WONDER and the thought-provoking lyrical poetry of ANUBIS GATE. This song is Progressive Metal.

“The Progress” is quite different to anything heard so far, and takes a much more groove-driven approach to the riff work which, overlaid by soaring vocal melodies, makes for a powerful and emotional listening experience. In parts, Fredrik switches from the masterful grasp of vocal melody that he has proved to have to an effective aggressive approach. I swear, the man could sing anything. As I had hoped, I'm soon met with an entire half-a-song full of classically progressive, syncopated and avant-garde rhythm arrangements that scream DREAM THEATER. Possibly my favorite track on the record – an incredibly hard thing to name – is the final track, “Star of the Night”. The opening keyboards and guitar melody is beautiful and catchy, and invokes just as much emotion as any vocalist. The lyrics and vocals themselves are equally as beautiful in terms of poetic skill and grasp of melody. In fact, everything about this song is simply beautiful; the musicianship, arrangements. Everything. If you are having a bad day, or are down in the dumps, as they say; this is the music to turn to.

New Metallic talent is always refreshing to hear, but to come across a debut album that is as close as any band can get to perfect.

5 Star Rating

1. Heaven Feels so Hollow
2. Drowning in Silence
3. Endless Tears
4. Embrace Your Destiny
5. Our Only Desire
6. The Progress
7. Take Hold of Your Fear
8. An Interesting Fact
9. Welcome to Wonderland
10. Star of the Night
Fredrik Joakimsson – Vocals / Guitar
Jonas Ekestubbe – Guitar
Michael Södergren – Bass
Record Label: Dead End Exit Records


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