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Stryfe – Cursed Theater

Cursed Theater
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 August 2022, 2:50 PM

STRYFE is a “Los Angeles-based Metal band with a vibrant sound of heavy rock accents, mellifluous chord arrangements, and powerfully captivating vocals. Their sound is best described as a Modern Metal band with progressive ambitions, while maintaining a rock sensibility and cohesive song structure, with stylistic influences ranging from Death Metal to Armenian Classical and Folk. Each member brings countless years of experience and musical heritage to the table, giving the group a unique yet familiar sound that reverberates across all their material.” “Cursed Theater” contains ten tracks.

“Deception” is the first song. Thick bass work combines with easy listening guitars and vocals. I am getting more of a sense of a Rock band than a Metal band, especially from the vocals, but perhaps the definition of Metal these days is more expansive. There are some decent hooks in the song. “Palisade” is another easy-on-the-ears song without those heavy accents that are often present in Metal. Though only two songs in, this is pretty straightforward Hard Rock aimed at accessibility. “Velvet Revolution” is a shorter song with a little more energy, which is something that the band is lacking on the album. There is no haste, and no real push. I can also do without the rapping.

“Cursed Theater” is a heavier offering but the riffing is very simplistic, as are the vocals. The yearning and longing quality of the music isn’t much to get excited about, although the bass work is decent. “Hymn of the Truth” is a mellower song with more emotions. I wish the band would put some of these emotions to better use on the album, though this song is fairly boring. “Born Again” begins with some heavier elements, but the slow pace and simple riffs makes it hard to be memorable. It also drags out for far too long. “Highlands” closes the album, with some decent bass work and some Middle Eastern influenced guitars. The lead guitar work is also pretty solid, but I’m afraid it’s too little, too late.

I don’t pick up on very many Progressive elements here at all, nor many Metal elements. The latter statement is just fine, as I love many Hard Rock bands. But to say that this album has captivating and mellifluous chord arrangements is just plain old false advertising. It’s overly simple and not very memorable at all. This would be a hard pass for me.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Deception
2. Palisade
3. Duplicitous
4. Velvet Revolution
5. Lazaro
6. Cursed Theater
7. Hymn of the Truth
8. Fake
9. Born Again
10. Highlands
Sergio Ochoa – Vocals
Kar Khurshudyan – Guitars
Karo Torosyan – Bass
Derek Vardumyan – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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