Every once in a blue moon a band will change the entire atmosphere of the music scene. Whether it is through masterful musicianship, powerful vocal delivery or the lyrical content of their music; but what happens when a band does just that and more? What happens when they blend genres, break barriers and create something new?
Now I’ll admit I follow a few record labels very closely, looking for the next best thing to blast through my speakers and engulf me in sound. Nuclear Blast is one of those labels I seem to stalk, checking their website, Facebook and keeping up with their YouTube channel on a regular basis for their new releases. It was about 2 months ago when I heard the first single from one of their newly signed acts, Follow The Cipher. From the very first seconds of the band’s first single, “The Rising” I was hooked. The band’s perfect blend of Power metal, symphonic metal, and euro-pop elements was something that I had never really heard to this level. Now, many bands have blended these genres before, but they usually lean to one side or the other, they really never find that perfect balance of all the elements that influenced their sound.
Follow The Cipher have found a way to perfectly blend all of these elements into a unique and powerful sound. With ripping yet heavy guitar work, strong presence of electronic elements, stellar songwriting and powerful vocal range and abilities. The mastermind behind Follow The Cipher, Ken Kängström is not new to this industry, he contributed his writing skills to Sabaton through 2014 when he decided it was time for him to create his own band. It was after finding vocalist Linda Toni Grahn that Follow The Cipher was born.
The band’s self-titled debut release, fires on every cylinder that you would expect from someone who has spent many years helping to create musical masterpieces. The musicianship is not only fantastic, but it is also creative and layered, but for me the highlight of the entire record is Linda’s powerful yet raspy voice, delivering both higher powered vocals and gruff darker singing perfectly. The elements of Euro Pop and Electronic music, fit the style of the band perfectly as well as the heavy power metal and melodic death metal influenced riffs.
The 11-song, 45-minute release had me smiling for the entire first playthrough and the following 6 times after. With songs like “Winterfall” and “I Revive” along with the singles “Valkyria” and “The Rising” making the biggest impact on my joy of listening to this record. The Follow The Cipher’s cover of Sabaton‘s hit “Carolus Rex” was an amazing nod to the band that helped lay the framework for the Cipher.
I highly recommend checking this album which is set to release in May of 2018 via Nuclear Blast. If you are a fan of Nightwish, Sabaton and In Flames you will not want to miss this one, I’m sure I’ll be playing this one for the rest of the year.