Symphorce - Phorcefulahead

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: 14417
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:46:00

Andy Franck is back with the next Symphorce disc, and soon he will be back with the new Brainstorm disc, and soon ... well, you get the picture. I'm not sure what the set up is for him to sing in two bands that are almost exactly alike in nature, but one thing is for sure, if you're into Brainstorm, you should love this disc, and vice versa. My personal musical domain is certainly far from a steady diet of straight ahead power metal, but when the craving comes along for pure, melodic, no holds barred power metal; I reach for my Symphorce and Brainstorm discs. Current lineup consists of: Andy B. Franck (vocals), Cedric Dupont (guitars), Marcus Pohl (guitars), Dennis Wohlbold (bass), Sascha Sauer (drums).

What's the difference between the two bands? Essentially, the speed. Brainstorm is the speedier of the two bands, while Symphorce slows down things considerably from their power cousins. I personally feel this is the best Symphorce to date, while the previous discs served to hone the bands skills and get their signature sound down. This is a total guitar crunch fest, injected with lots of melody and anthem-like vocal choruses. Straight ahead power metal slowed down a bit to accommodate the slower headbanger, injected with some background synths, and loaded with tons of vocal choruses, compliments of Andy Franck. Each song will have you headbanging and raising the metal fist in the air, toe tapping, and/or finding something to bang on with the hands. At times, the obligatory double bass attack will emerge, but still in the slower speed, as not to confuse the serious headbanger who doesn't want to lose a single beat.

Production is first rate. Vocals are quite up front this time, more so than in the past and vocal harmonies are most prominent this time out as well. Guitars are really beefed up, tuned down, and crunching. Drums are solid, booming, and precise as well as the bassy bottom end which is tight. There aren't that many keyboards to talk about, except for the occasional cyber-synth for added background at times.

Overall, there will be those that deem this either a Brainstorm sound-alike, those that deem this "simple" metal, with nothing to keep the listener interested, or those that won't like the Franck-styled vocals, which to me sounds like Dave Mustaine more and more these days, yet the Ivanhoe days of Andy's high pitch rears it's wonderful sound every now and then during the show. This is hard to beat for simple-but-effective power metal that will certainly have you banging your head against something. Look for nothing further than that, and this disc will have you coming back for more every time.

Similar bands: Brainstorm

[This review originally appeared April 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Speak My Mind (4:28) / Unbroken (4:52)/ Slow Down (4:07) / Longing Home (4:44) / Moving In Circles (3:54) / Falling Through Again (4:26) / Your Blood, My Soul (5:32) / Rage Of Violence (6:32) / Touched And Infected (3:20) / Nothin' Left (5:08) / Ltd. Ed. digipack bonus tracks: Where Night Returns (demo '02) (5:25) / Force Fed (demo '02) (5:50) / In Times Of Grief (demo '02) (5:28) [total time above is for ltd ed]

Andy B. Franck - vocals
Cedric Dupont -guitars
Marcus Pohl - guitars
Dennis Wohlbold - bass
Sascha Sauer - drums

Truth To Promises (1999)
Sinctuary (2000)
PhorcefulAhead (2002)
Twice Second (2004)
GodSpeed (2005)
Become Death (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: July 5th 2005
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri
Artist website:
Hits: 497
Language: english


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