Black Heart Revival opens with a track that recalls Seraphim Shock's '90s period, when the band used enigmatic samples to set a dark mood before foreboding instrumentation exploded into razory metal riffing over the soaringly melodic and sepulchral vocals of Charles Edwards. From there, though, the album lunges toward the trashy glam rock of the band's more recent efforts. If Seraphim Shock's hook-laden metal and cartoonish horror-movie theatrics turn you off, this won't change your mind. Even so, it's clear that Edwards has taken a real step forward as a songwriter with this long-awaited album (slated to be released at the Gothic Theatre on Friday, August 27). Instead of prematurely tossing out a release to capitalize on 2004's Halloween Sex N' Vegas, he took time to really hone and synthesize his sound, as evidenced by songs like the driving "Rebel Dirty Rebel," which effectively mates the old Seraphim sound with the new.
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