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Sarpedon - Demo 2006

Hailing from Norway comes a new band called Sarpedon.  By the looks of the artwork and the band logo, I was expecting an extreme metal band.  And while the band does kick out some brutal tunes, they land more in the progressive/power metal genre than any other.  To tell you the truth, when I first popped this disc in I got really excited upon hearing the band just rip into the first song, "In the Sign of Sin."  However, the vocals joined in after a while and I immediately lost all sense of excitement.  In fact, I could only get through 2 of the 3 songs on the first listen.  I think I've gotten much pickier when it comes to vocals as I've gotten older, and Eirik Krokfjord's vocals did nothing to impress me upon first listen.  But I'm not one to just give a band one chance.  I waited a few days and then popped it in again, and ever since then the band has grown on me slowly but surely.  What ended up drawing me back in was the music.  While the band does use programmed drums on the first track, that is really the only down point musically, as the rest of the EP shows tons of talent.  The guitars just dominate this EP with power, aggressiveness, and flair.  And the drumming on the last two tracks is excellent.  And I must not forget the very well placed keys on this disc.  A really well-rounded effort musically that gives me hope that this band could really be destined for great things.  However, there is that issue with the vocals.  I really couldn't stand them on first listen, but they have grown on me over multiple spins of this CD.  I think the thing that annoys me is that Krokfjord is just so laid back in his delivery.  He never just cuts loose.  And at times, his "pretty" vocals just really clash with the raging metal.  It's a contrast that works at times, but at other times it just doesn't sound like a good fit.  But hey, the band only formed in late 2005 and supposedly they have some killer guitar player that has recently joined the band that didn't even play on this EP.  So, I'll give this band the benefit of the doubt.  I've heard many vocalists improve by leaps and bounds after lackluster debuts, so maybe we'll get that from this band as well.  It's not that Krokfjord doesn't have a good set of pipes, I just think that the way he utilizes them could be revamped before the band's next release.

Rating: 71/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Independent

Total Songs: 3

Total Time: 11:19

Tracklisting: 1. In the Sign of Sin, 2. To Some a Child, 3. Ode to a Woman (In Death's Design).

Best Songs: Tracks 2 & 3.

Band Lineup: Eirik Krokfjord - Vocals, Torgeir Krokfjord - Guitars/Keyboards, Ove Eeg - Bass, Carl Engstrom - Drums.

Band Website: http://www.sarpedonmetal.com or http://www.myspace.com/sarpedonmetal