This is Part-2 of my Cipher System review series where I am reviewing both of their albums. First, I would like to say that before you listen to this album, give their first album a listen so that you can have an idea of their musical history. So they released Central Tunnel Eight in 2004. The album got rave reviews (by the few people that reviewed it) and had minimal sales. They went on a few European tours and one Asian tour as an opening band. In 2006, the band split with their record label and disappeared for almost two years. In 2008, the band surfaced announcing that they had written their new album and had an album cover for it and were currently on the hunt for a permanent lineup and a record label to release the album on.
I can still remember the morning when I was checking up on my favorite record label, Nuclear Blast. I check up on them every once in a while to see any recent signings or any updates on any of the bands. This time I noticed that the name Cipher System had been added to the bands list. This was a huge surprise because we hadn’t heard anything from the band in almost three years. I’ve always felt that they are worthy of being on the Nuclear Blast roster and had always hoped to see their name on the website.
The band then said that they had found a label and had found a solid lineup and were going to start recording immediately. A little over a month later, the album was inside my mailbox (I pre-ordered it).
The first thing that I noticed was that they had gotten a new vocalist…one that is a lot better. Their first vocalist was amazing, but Karl blew me away. His filthy, high-pitched growls fit the music perfectly, and his singing voice is comparable to Christian Alvestam, the former vocalist of Scar Symmetry. The best example of his singing would be in the title song, which is also my favorite song on the record. Cipher System has also evolved their sound in many different ways.
First of all, they don’t have as much of an angry, aggressive sound. They’ve shifted their sound to one that relates to many other melodic death bands like Scar Symmetry, Before the Dawn, and Dark Tranquility. They’ve gotten more melodic, and also have more colorful guitar and bass riffs. They still have most of the traditional Cipher System sound, but they’ve done what I expect every band to do, and that is to evolve, grow, and mature. Cipher System has also started adding in breakdowns in almost all of their songs. There aren’t very many other melodic death bands that do this other than In Flames and Soilwork.
The album kicks off with an astonishing track titled 7-inch Cut. This song has a really difficult bass line which actually takes the lead part in most of the song. Other favorites of mine are Forget to Forgive, Project Life Collapse, God’s Terminal, and The Stairway. All of the songs on this album are purely amazing. This album is a thousand times better than Central Tunnel Eight. I look forward to the time when they come to visit the United States.