within%20temptation%20-%20tivoli%20april%2005%20frame%20home.jpg about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_serotone_equilibria001006.jpg
Back in the very early nineties, I bought an album called 'Crawl' by Derby-based progressive thrashers The Beyond. I was immediately hooked and was slightly saddened by the hit and miss affair that was their second effort 'Chasm'. Even sadder still, they split some time after. Gorilla was created from the ashes, which again was very much on a downward spiral in terms of quality. Their drummer joined 'Therapy?' and that was that. You might wonder why I have started a review of Serotone's album 'Equilibria' in this way. Rightly so. However, the first thing that entered my head, after the gorgeous introduction to first song '13' was “Holy Crap!” it's The Beyond, come back from the grave. Of course, it's not them at all; the vibe is there though. Those wonderful jazzy/prog guitar licks, courtesy of Lem and Eck(?) and the vibrato of vocalist Dale, really do evoke memories of 'Crawl'. Still, this is not the nineties anymore, and things have moved on considerably. So too have Serotone taken these influences and run with them, kicking and screaming, into this musical era. That is not to say that 'Serotone' are bowing to trends; more that they understand the need to develop their influences, carefully arranging them into coherent works, to remain fresh and exciting. And it works very well for them. If there is one criticism I have of this album, however, it is the production. There is no excuse these days for a bad-sounding demo. With the smallest of budgets, and the tiniest of effort, great sounds can be made. It is unfortunate that 'Serotone' have managed to make the guitars sound weak and waspy. I doubt this is the sound they wanted, and it does deter the listener from absorbing the tunes fully without distraction. Ultimately though, it's the songs that count. In this area they do, thankfully, excel. Again, opener '13' really is fantastic; whispering aggressive, but sweet, nothings before smacking you round the head with a fury of light/shade stop-start riffery and a feel of lounge. Stand out track for me is the glorious 'Shine Alone'. I was torn on scoring this album; not because I had issues with the music, but the production issues still stick in my mind. Had the sound been fuller, and less distracting, you could add another point onto their still respectable score. Interestingly, they don't list The Beyond as an influence on their MySpace page.
Review by Steve Cowan
1st Oct 2007
1) 13
2) Phrantic
3) Flaw
4) Shine Alone
5) Fading
6) Blinded
7) Try
8) No Parts
9) Lifespan
10) M.O.T.
11) Wide Awake
"...they understand the need to develop their influences, carefully arranging them into coherent works, to remain fresh and exciting."