Serenity in Murder (Japan)

Serenity in Murder are a Japanese sextet that play a particularly epic brand of symphonic melodic death metal. A simple listen to “Await Me Your Oath” will give you a pretty strong impression of what to expect from this album. Between the lush, often folky keyboards and stellar riffing, I was certainly intrigued enough to add this album to my listening queue. Let me assure you that I was not left disappointed even a little.

The keyboards often supply a melodramatic atmosphere on par with Equilibrium: over the top, but endearing rather than disheartening. Freddy is no one-trick pony. This very talented individual is quite capable of providing many different textures that serve as the centerpiece of orchestrations throughout the album. Certain moments can have a bit of a cyber, videogame soundtrack quality as with “Hurt of Virtue,” only to change to a traditional and morose piano piece.

Alternatively, vocals are decidedly more grave in their delivery. Despite the fairly single-tone nature of these screams, Emi manages to convey quite a bit of emotion from victory to sorrow through subtle changes in cadence and enunciation. Comparisons to acts such as Darkest Hour, Bloodshot Dawn, and Mors Principium Est are warranted. Guitar riffs are worthy of similar comparisons with their fusion of thrashy speed with melodeath progressions and solos. Taken alone, these riffs are nothing new, but when combined with the synth work, melodies truly pop in exciting ways. Stellar drumming is icing on the cake with plenty of well-produced rhythms and beats to keep you bobbing your head for days.

With that in mind, you might as well set your MP3 player to repeat, because this tight piece of metal magic is only roughly 37 minutes long. I was hardly finished with my first playthrough before clicking back to the first track for a second run. All other aspects aside, this album is a blast. Everything comes together so well, and I commend Serenity in Murder for sticking to a runtime that leaves you wanting more rather than overstaying their welcome.

Final word: best melodic death metal I have heard so far from 2015. It may only be March at the time of this writing, but with so few decent releases in the genre since the 90's and early 2000's bubble burst, I am confident that this will at least be a contender by the end of the year. Check this album out today. MPE's The Unborn meets Equilibrium's Sagas.



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