Ready for a little lesson in Greek mythology? Cassandra, as we all should know, was a daughter of King Priam of Troy whose beauty caught the attention of Apollo. Being the amorous dude that he was, Apollo bestowed upon Cassandra the gift of prophecy. Tragically for Cassandra, however, she refused to "entertain" good ol' Apollo so he placed upon her a curse such that no one would ever believe her predictions. Doomed to foresee a future that she could not alter or influence was our girl Cassandra. Adopting as their moniker the term that has come to be applied to this tragic figure's state of powerlessness, Maryland's Cassandra Syndrome offer up Satire X, a sophomore album of Americanized symphonic metal that has a stark social commentary for a lyrical base.
Continuing in the same vein as the band's debut album Of Patriots and Tyrants, Satire X consists of two distinct and powerful forces. Frontwoman Irene Jericho's soprano is gripping as she swoops and soars throughout her considerable range, effortlessly nailing high notes (don't miss the crazy-long note at the end of "Poison Rain") and altering the cadence of her delivery to fit the mood of the material. Without a doubt, Irene is one of metal's most consistently potent - if underexposed - singers.
The major criticism I had of Cassandra Syndrome's first album was the lack of cohesion between Irene's vocals and the band's overall musical style, and sadly I have to say that the same holds true on Satire X. I get what the band is trying to do, but Irene's voice is simply too explosive to be confined to the raw style of metal the band is dishing out. The bombast of bands like Nightwish works so well with operatic singers of Tarja Turunen's caliber because it's a perfect marriage of styles, a fact that Cassandra Syndrome may have to acknowledge. I like the band's message, their musical style, and Irene's vocal presence, but the disparity between the latter two keep Satire X from firing on all cylinders. Even so, fans of operatic metal singers should turn their attention to Cassandra Syndrome and give Satire X a try.
|1||No More Peace Forever||4:41|
|2||Hell On Earth||4:07|
|8||What You Wanted||5:48|
|9||The Iron Cross||4:25|
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