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Fiction Syxx - Tall Dark Secrets

Fiction Syxx
Tall Dark Secrets
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 November 2017, 7:18 AM

FICTION SYXX is a project of sorts, featuring members who have been in other notable bands in the past. As far as I can tell, this is their debut release, containing eleven tracks. In the area of AOR/Melodic Rock, there has really been a resurgence of this nostalgic style lately, though it never really went away. But, there have been some hits and some misses, and one thing is for sure, in the sea of bands out there, you have to find a way to distinguish yourself, lest you acquiesce to just ride the waves. Let’s get to some of the highlights to hear what we have.

“Given Sight” is the opening track. Though I could not find definitive information on who the vocalist is, the vocals are clean and melodic, sometimes with harmonies. A keyboard solo precedes a guitar solo, though neither are overly acrobatic. “Play on Words” has a southern rock tinge to it, with a slower pace and featuring the strums of acoustic guitars. They know how to build harmony in the chorus, but it doesn’t quite get that full effect that you need in this genre. “Welcome to my Nightmare” has a soft and pensive opening sound, leading to a mid-tempo pace that is high with emotion. The vocals however don’t really have a full impact until they reach the upper ranges.

“Larger than Life” opens with eerie keyboard effects that seem to surround you. I have always felt that featured keys really do nothing but enhance music, and have never understood critics of them. In this case they support a full sound, but the pace of the song drags a bit. “Where we Belong” is the obligatory ballad, which I tease at, but actually have always looked forward to and have enjoyed them in this genre. The vocals are perhaps best in this song, but don’t overlook the interplay from keyboards and guitars. “Spirits Collide” is similar in that softer sort of sound that talks about human connectivity. I think again it suffers from just too much of a mid-tempo pace…too many of these on one album can really bog it down.

“Children of the Night” closes the album. It’ a cliché song title that we have heard many times before. Fortunately the energetic riffing helps to save it. Overall, I don’t think the project is bad, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table either. Mostly, it lacks in inspiration. Sometimes, a group of talented musicians can come together and you expect the collective synergy to take them to new heights. All too often however I have found that the sum of the parts is not always better than the individual parts, and I think that is the case here.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 4
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Given Sight
2. Play on Words
3. Tow the Line
4. Welcome to my Nightmare
5. Demon in my Window
6. Larger than Life
7. Where we Belong
8. Your Promised Land
9. Spirits Collide
10. Time to Heal
11. Children of the Night
Tony Franklin – Bass
J.K. Northrup – Guitars
Mark Lanoue – Guitars
Eric Ragno – Keyboards
Rory Faciane – Drums
Record Label: Melodic Rock Records


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