Follow the Cipher – Follow the Cipher (Review)

Follow the CipherFollow the Cipher are a power metal band from Sweden and this is their debut album.

Here we have 45 minutes of slick, charismatic power metal. It’s professionally produced, delivered, and performed, and has a huge sound as you would want for something of this ilk.

The press blurb notes that this is a mixture of Nightwish, In Flames, and Sabaton, and that’s undeniably a good place to start. The songs certainly have quality levels that you could imagine sharing grand stadiums with the aforementioned bands.

There’s definitely an epic, cinematic quality to this album, with keyboards and synths keeping a nearly ubiquitous presence. As such, the songs are atmospheric and immersive, as well as having many catchy and memorable moments. Basically, this is an album of hooks; some blatant, some more subtle.

The songs are nicely multifaceted, sharing many elements in common with the standard bearers of this kind of bombastic power metal, while still having a personality of their own. The music takes influence from many metallic eras, with nods toward the old guard, as well as having a more modern side, with an electronic influence, beefy, choppy riffs, etc. – there’s even a touch of djent in the guitars here and there. But yes, a comparison to Nightwish, In Flames, and Sabaton is quite apt in many ways, for the most part.

The singer has a very good voice, and she uses it well across the songs. She shows a good range and I can easily imagine her having an impressive presence live. She can certainly belt out a good chorus, too. Before you know it you’ll be singing along in the shower. And by shower, I mean in the wind and the rain on the top of a mountain. And by mountain, I mean futuristic sci-fi pyramid. Or something. You get the idea.

An enjoyable and strong debut. I like that it takes many of the strengths from a relatively generic style, and fuses them into enjoyable songs that are very moreish.

Highly recommended.

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