Sarea – Black at Heart (Wormholedeath)

Monday, 22nd May 2017
Rating: 7.5/10

If there was such a thing as modern melodic death metal comfort food, Sarea would most likely be found in the ingredients. Delivering three previous full-lengths of In Flames and Soilwork-esque melodeath (they do come from Sweden after all), Sarea have a firm grasp on its nuances. All of which can be easily heard in their latest release, Black at Heart.

While one would not call Sarea a copycat of the aforementioned acts, they do fall squarely in line with that type of material. There’s not really any deviation from the latter day works of those bands (or the large number of devotees they’ve inspired), but that’s no knock to Black at Heart. Those who long for this type of material (this scribe is always and will always be a sucker for Swedish melodeath) will have a veritable bounty with this album. The simple fact is that Sarea’s writing is genuine and rather well-done for what it is. You’ve got the more melodic and catchy side covered (big choruses and all) with songs like “Let us Fall” and “All for None” and some occasionally heavier numbers like the thrashier “The Others” to balance things out. Synths get their time to shine alongside the vocals and riffing, and thankfully don’t veer into the spotlight unnecessarily. It’s clear that by this point in their career, they’ve found a balance that works for them, and they know how to strip things to the bare essentials without the overbearing fluff.

The formula may feel familiar, but that doesn’t slow down Sarea at all on Black at Heart. Everything fits together and runs like clockwork in such a way that you’ll be drawn back for more. Melodeath like this is meant to give you an uplifting boost with your adrenaline fix, and both are accomplished with glee.

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