Cea Serin - Where Memories Combine

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Heavencross Records
Catalog Number: HRCD 10
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:09:00

The vast number of new metal releases shows that many do not choose for the money, but for the music. But there are so many releases, it's hard to choose from. Well, let me help you then and bring to your attention probably one of the most underrated albums of this year: Where Memories Combine by Cea Serin. According to the press sheet, "Cea Serin was formed several years ago as an exercise in the freedom of creative expression". In other words: they are not your average metal band and this is why their debut album Where Memories Combine is so great: it does not follow the walked on paths of the majority of the metal bands. No, the three gents from Cea Serin have chosen their own path and created a very fascinating album.

The album opens with the very atmospheric "A Fracture In Forever," with ambient synths and some dialogue samples and this movie score like sound, is found throughout the album. The guitars on the album are diverse, from harmonious to shredding, never the same though. There are even some acoustic guitar parts on the album. The only thing I miss are real drums, as they have used digital drums on the album and they sound a bit cold. Vocalist J. Lamm (also responsible for bass, keyboards and digital percussion) has a good voice, sometimes he reminds me of Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), especially in "Meridian's Tear," which clocks just over 10 minutes and is my favourite track of the album. It is very epic, symphonic and yet powerful. This song is where I have my first "problem" with the album: as said, I like J. Lamm's vocals, as he is very good, but at times he brings in a bit of Death Metal, with his cookie monster vocals and although I agree it fits the music, I am not too fond of it.

Still, this is the only thing I have against the album and this is a matter of personal taste. Outside that, fantastic album. They have been very creative in bringing in all kinds of sounds and sound effects. I already mentioned the dialogues, which are in just about every song. But they also added voice effects, like backwards talking and a computerized voice. But what I like the most is the tap dance on "The End Of Silence"! Very original. Well, I cannot leave "Into The Vivid Cherishing" out of the review, as this is the magnum opus of Cea Serin: more epic, symphonic, atmospheric and heavy than the rest of the album and clocking over 12 minutes, with again the spirit of Pain of Salvation roaming through the song. The solos by Keith Warmann (guitars) are awesome, especially in this song, but also on the rest of the album.

The last three tracks are officially labelled as "bonus tracks," but none of them sound as they do not belong to this album, although the guitars on "Sudden Faith (Part I)," sound sharper than on the previous songs. Closing track "An Evening At The Suicide Café," is again very atmospheric, with piano, soft drums and dark lyrics. The words on the album are important as they reflect and enhance the atmosphere the album breathes, and sometimes make it understandable.

Presented in a digipack, with moody artwork, Cea Serin's debut album is a must have for metal fans, but also for progressive rock fans. Don't let the cookie monster vocals hold you back from this excellent album, as this band has accomplished what they set out to do: they focussed on songwriting, lyrics and presentation and by this versatile and fascinating album I can only say: well done!! Keep up this with albums to come, maybe include a live drummer, and this band could become a very important asset to the metal world. Highly recommended!

[This review originally appeared June 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
A Fracture In Forever / Embracing The Absence / Meridian's Tear / The End Of Silence / Scripted Suffering: Within And Without / Into The Vivid Cherishing / Sudden Faith (Part I) / Sudden Faith (Part II) / An Evening At The Suicide Cafe

J. Lamm - bass, keyboards, lead and backing vocals, digital percussion
Keith Warman - lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Forrest Osterman - live rhythm guitars

Demo '99 (1999)
The Surface Of All Things (ep)
Where Memories Combine (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 6th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.myspace.com/ceaserin/
Hits: 874
Language: english


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