Suite 226

Serious Black are a German based melodic power metal band formed in 2013, originally featuring former members of Blind Guardian, Helloween and Tad Morose. The bands debut album 'As Daylight Breaks' was released in 2015. Three more albums followed over the next two years, 'Mirrorworld' (2016), 'Magic' (2017), and the acoustic album 'First Light' (2017). 'Suite 226' is the bands fifth album, and was released in 2020.    
Heavier and more power metal orientated than their 2017 album 'Magic', Serious Black have returned with a vengeance - setting light to the genre with their blistering new album 'Suite 226'. The album shudders into life with the aggressive and in your face heavy metaller 'Let Me Go'. With the vocals spitting venom, 'Let Me Go' is a bull in a china shop beginning, yet the chorus break is heavily melodic. With more bluff and bluster, 'When The Stars Are Right' carries on the heavy yet melodic march to the album. Heavy/power metal is what Serious Black are all about, and the opening double salvo shows their intent to deliver - and deliver heavily. Which they certainly do with 'Solitude Etude'. Thundering into life and powering on like a jack hammer, 'Solitude Etude' pulsates with a head bang able rhythm.    
And talking of pulsating rhythms, 'Fate Of All Humanity' is an absolute corker. It has power and energy in abundance, as it rolls forward with melodic intent. Add the sing a long able chorus to the mix and 'Fate Of All Humanity' is one of the albums highlights. As is 'Castiel'... Power and purpose, all wrapped up in the classic sound of European power metal. The mix of heavy aggressive with the melodic is a joy to listen too, Serious Black blending traits of the power metal and traditional metal genres perfectly. 'Heaven Shall Burn' returns the album to the hard hitting heaviness of earlier. Very much a stomp, 'Heaven Shall Burn' has a venomous, chant style chorus, that am sure will be sung loud and proud in concert.    
Lifting the pace, 'Way Back Home' blazes a trail of fire as it scorches on, nodding its head to the glory days of power metal evolution. Elements of hard rock and AOR are sprinkled all over 'Way Back Home' - a sparkling mix. And now for the best song on the album - the fast paced 'We Still Stand Tall'. The energy level is off the scale as 'We Still Stand Tall' powers on with purpose, a glorious "foot on the monitor" romp that will have everyone either head banging, singing, or punching the air in delight...or maybe all three! Serious Black have delivered a peach of a song with 'We Still Stand Tall'. At the other end of the metal scale from the blistering pace of 'We Still Stand Tall', we find the power ballad 'Come Home'. A definite lighters in the air moment, 'Come Home' gives the listener a breather, before the albums final song - the eight minutes long epic title song 'Suite 226'. Running the gamut of a number of styles, 'Suite 226' is a mesmerising wander through the genres of hard rock, heavy metal and power metal. Which is actually a good summary of the entire album when you think about it...    
Overall, a hard hitting and very heavy power metal album, that is head bang able, sing a long able, and more importantly, memorable.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV