SYMPHORCE – Unrestricted

SYMPHORCE - Unrestricted
  • 6/10
    SYMPHORCE - Unrestricted - 6/10


AFM Records
Release date: October 15, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Symphorce, led by vocalist Andy B. Franck, has always been known as the more brutal step-brother of Franck’s other band, Brainstorm. Their latest album Unrestricted definitely maintains that notable brutality. Symphorce has historically put out some very innovative Power Metal music, however, Unrestricted seems to leave some of that originality behind.

This is Symphorce’s first new release since 2007’s Become Death, which was arguably their heaviest work. It is clear Symphorce has toned down a smidge since then. Franck’s vocals and Cede Dupont’s guitars are more melodic on this album compared to the somewhat Death Metal sound from the appropriately-named Become Death.

That being said, Unrestricted is nothing less than 100% heavy guitar riff driven Power Metal. There isn’t anything remotely progressive or symphonic like on their previous work from time to time. The opening track “The Enternal,” does have a faint possibility of being reminiscent of a more melodic Brainstorm song, especially with the soft keyboard intro, and the lower vocal parts. Once the riffs start, however, it becomes clear this is all Symphorce.

Musically, Franck’s vocals are very clear and precise. He does use his “growl-ish” Symphorce singing style on most of the tracks, but is still able to maintain the Power Metal integrity throughout the album. The guitar work of Cede Dupont and Markus Pohl have an almost thrash-like quality about them. Heavy riffs and shredding guitar solos are the continuous theme. The only downside musically may be the production and recording of the drums. It is obvious they are recorded too softly for this style of music, and the constant “tinning” sound of the snare comes off as annoying.

There isn’t really one track that stands out as being better than another. Materially, most of the songs are mediocre at best. Some may have better riffs than others; an example may be the song “Visions”, which has basically a driving Classic Rock theme. There is one song worthy of mentioning — “The Mindless” is a cryptic song that features several media sound bites from the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The lyrics are haunting in themselves, as Franck sings “It doesn’t matter how we die … I take a look through their disguise” he makes a solid statement against the evils of this world.

Overall, Unrestricted doesn’t live up the reputation of their previous albums. Symphorce has accomplished too much to present such a bland album. However, what this album lacks in inventiveness, it makes up for in hardcore edginess.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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