Verscythë – A Time to Come (Self-Released)Wednesday, 9th April 2014
Ardent metal fans seek redemption beyond commercial media and overblown hype machine antics. They dig deeper, finding new bands at every twist and turn, often in a live environment if they go to enough shows. One recent weekend show I attended led me to the sounds of New Bedford, MA quintet Verscythë, and hearing that their sound is a throwback to old school power metal would be an instant ‘no brainer’ purchase for these ears.
Fortunately for the rest of the world, this 10 song debut album A Time to Come isn’t your typical ‘happy’ album or one where the music outshines the vocals. This quintet live for an era where songwriting was king, the hooks could go at you from all directions (rhythmically, riff-wise, or through vocal harmonies) and you could easily bring the way back machine to your first discovery of Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, and Fates Warning.
Opening with finger tap action, “This Eternal War” starts things off in a slightly up-tempo manner, an anthem that would appease those who love the late 80’s/ early 90’s power metal scene. It’s easy to see within the first minute that vocalist Justin St. Pierre is not your average vocalist- possessing a killer falsetto and depth of range across the board that mesmerizes. Imagine Sebastian Bach running headlong into Geoff Tate and possibly Tony Moore and that can give you an idea of his melodic supremacy.
Do not discount the quartet of fellow musicians behind Justin. Guitarists Jeff Rull and Chris Reed form a great six string attack team, laying down a bevy of point/ counterpoint parts both electrically and acoustically, making “Unfinished on Earth” and the uplifting “Through the Soul” (think The Warning period Queensrÿche meets much missed Hittman) pleasant aurally. And bassist Jack St. Pierre and ex-Beyond the Embrace drummer Kevin Camille roll through the versatile offerings – steady and solid for anthems such as “The Opening of Life” and the title cut or more explosive on the closing thrash number “Dead Mans Hand”.
I remember a time when American power metal had some impressive records such as Master Control, Thundersteel, and Fifth Angel. Verscythë stand out because there aren’t many bands still rocking out in that melodic power metal sub-genre, and doing it this impressively in today’s scene.