Serious Black – Suite 226 (2020)

Serious Black have returned and my apologies for completely overlooking this one as I wasn’t really sure about the band’s fate after Magic. However, it would seem that the band took a little bit of input from their constructive criticism and managed to kick it up a notch. Maybe I’m not so crazy about opener “Let it Go” which isn’t quite as catchy as the version from Frozen, but it lacked the guitar solos that this one has as well. Just to be clear though, this isn’t a cover of the Disney theme, they just happen to have the same name. Synths seem to play a larger part here too and by that I mean synthwave. As a matter of fact, the background synths in “Fate Of Humanity” remind me of Machinae Supremacy a little, which I find interesting. More importantly, the guitar in general has a much stronger role on this album, whether that is in the form of more prominent riff structures or full on guitar solos.

There are definitely a few cuts here that will appeal to longtime fans like “Castiel” but once again there are a few that leave me scratching my head like “Heaven Shall Burn.” It’s just not as interesting as it sounds and feels like filler on a ten track disc. They did try to go with something really out there on the album’s closer and title track, which actually manages to capture as much heavy metal might as it does majesty. Sirius Black certainly saved the best for last and I’m ultimately quite pleased.

Though Suite 226 may not be their best release, it definitely comes off more entertaining than Magic and you really have to give it to them because they seem to be trying very hard to craft a record that is not only unique and experimental, but has all the heavy metal trappings that people have expected from this band. Give them a break fellas, I’ve read the reviews on Metal Archives and people just aren’t happy. Magic is still sitting at eighteen percent and that’s out of a hundred. So I hope you folks found something to like on this one, for crying out loud.




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