Dark Chambers of Déjà vu

11. Stranger at the Door
2. Highland Romance
3. Crucifixion of the Heart
4. Lamb of God
5. The Wall of Lyman-Alpha
6. Sphinx in Acheron
7. Frozen Nightingales
8. Sleep in the Glass
9. The Ocean
10. Man in the Maze
11. The House of Medusa
12. My Deepest Winter
13. Last Dance at Rosslyn Chapel
14. Dorian (Live)
15. Headless Cross (Live) (Black Sabbath cover)

George Rain– vocals
Andy Mons - guitars, backing vocals
Petri Kallio - bass, backing vocals
Pavel „Dvorkys“ Dvorak – keyboards
Lucas R. - drums

Tears of White Roses (2010)

Tony Martin
Sergey Baidikov
Zak Stevens
Roland Grapow
Aylin Gimenez

Produced by Roland Grapow

Released 2015-09-25
Reviewed 2015-09-14

pride & joy

Colourful Czech band Sebastien are back with their second album, an album we only had to wait four years for. This time they enter the dark chambers of déjà vu, a worrying title if it is in any way indicative of what we can expect from the album musically – it is a title that would have suited a best of album brilliantly. This is not a best of album; it is Sebastien’s new effort for which they have found a few very prominent names within the industry to help them, like Tony Martin who perhaps is the best singer for Black Sabbath. Roland Grapow is another name thrown around; he stands for mixing and mastering for the album. An album with a very long playing time, reaching past the hour mark with two live tracks to end it all, one from the first album and one the Black Sabbath cover Headless Cross – possibly the greatest ever Black Sabbath song.

It is epic power metal with large melodies and majestic choruses, lots of keys and orchestral arrangements. You can compare it to many bands, throw many names in there: Sonata Arctica for example. The soundscape is very attractive; I think the sound is excellent, not too polished and not ridiculous – it is quite powerful and majestic. I do however think that the album is a bit on the long side and many more than just me will find that they lose interest the further down the tracks they get; just to be ruthlessly awoken when the live tracks surprisingly ends the slumber. Even though they could have cut away the talk before and after the tracks as that feels like a completely unnecessary inclusion. Overall I think that the production is excellent but one could certainly argue that a little bit more variation would be preferred.

There are thirteen tracks that are quite similar so the first few tracks tend to grab your interest but then the interest level starts to vane and the further into the album you get, the less interested you end up feeling. That can be seen as a weakness. As can the fact that the ending cover song Headless Cross stand out as in a class of its own, Sebastien’s own songs just aren’t of that calibre and that song is a recording from some live performance. Both live songs sounds really good, they have done a great job with them. I think that this album is very strong overall but too flat to really take off and to feel really amazing and I cannot help thinking that they are lacking in some respect, they should have done a bit more murdering because five or six tracks into the album it is impossible to really care about it anymore and you only notice the songs like some kind of background noise. The similarity between the songs, and with the debut album, makes me feel like I am missing that dynamic feel that differentiates these good albums from those very precious few great albums that I hear.

I think that the déjà vu specified in the title refers more to the sound than anything else because it feels as I have heard it before and the ending two tracks I really have heard before, albeit in slightly different iterations. Too close to the debut and not as good either, that is the main problem but still it is probably good enough not to disappoint as the tracks and sounds are quite good all the way through the album. Headless Cross is by far the best track and an excellent ending, leaving us longing for a better sequel to this good album by a competent band that I think could have done a lot better had they worked a little bit harder on the song writing.



Label: Pride & Joy Muisc/GerMusica
Three similar bands: Nightwish/Sonata Arctica/Avantasia
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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