Serious Black – Mirrorworld (AFM Records)

Serious Black – Mirrorworld (AFM Records)

Seriously frustrating...

By including the word ‘Serious’ in your band name, you’re encouraging debate on how serious your efforts are (and possible name calling). Add on ‘Black’ and you might be subject to Harry Potter references. Anyway on to the Serious disappointment…

Breaking the Surface is a grand orchestral instrumental that sounds a lot like the signature theme to The Dark Knight – which is a great thing. A grand start to the album and then…

 As Long as I’m Alive kicks in and everything changes. Where were they going in the last track? It hooked me and then it broke off and was never referenced again. 80’s synth came in and took my interest away. This track is rather punchy and not too bad, just totally disjointed from the previous grand entrance.

Castor Skies features an interesting opening with rapid fretwork (or was that synth too?). A quicker tempo and some harmonies in the chorus. Reminds me a bit of Dragonforce. But like Dragonforce, it’s a bit flat and while it should be catchy, it just isn’t. The solo is pretty good though, which is a shame as the rest is pretty bland.

Heartbroken Soul is where it all begins to fall apart. The backbone of this song is solid, nice bass, then Urban Breed (who strikes a remarkable resemblance to Aragorn II, son of Arathorn) breaks out in Savage Garden mode. Eww, no thanks. This song rapidly falls into a soppy mess. Another great solo, but it’s lost in a sea of teary ick.

Dying Hearts continues the mood. Moving along.

You’re Not Alone has a promising start, have we climbed out of our pit of despair and sorrow? Yes! Awesome, back to the… power love ballads? Oh man… At least we’re heading in the right direction. Good pace with another great solo.

Ok, the title track… Mirrorworld. You wouldn’t name the album after a wet tissue of a song would you? No! Thankfully this is probably the best track on the album. Solid, meaty guitars… Finally! Big drums and another great solo. The guitars are the one thing really propping this album up. The drums are reliable, but ‘Serious Work’ needs to be done before the next album.

I think someone is a John Carpenter fan. State of My Despair opens like an 80’s action flick, possibly a news broadcast on the epidemic of organised crime sweeping the nation. Nice. Then we hit a quiet patch, then high pitched wailing. This screams 80’s at me and it’s great.

The Unborn Never Die should be called ‘The Synth Never Dies’. This track, like Breaking the Surface feels totally separate to the rest of the album. Almost like a bodgy album bookmarked by some pretty good songs from the cutting room floor of a somewhat better album.

That’s a shame. No patch required for this album. At 36 minutes long, it’s a saving grace it’s so short. Serious Black need to take a ‘Serious Long Look in the Mirror’ and ask themselves what went wrong.

I’ve heard great things about their previous album, but I’m not sure I want to take the time to find out.

Mirrorworld is out now on AFM Records. Listen at your own risk.

Andrew Orel
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