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BLACK SYMPHONY

Progressive Metal • United States


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Black Symphony biography
BLACK SYMPHONY is a progressive/power metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in the United States in 1992.

The band was founded by Rick Plester (guitarist), who had worked with names like George Lynch, The Micheal Schenker Group, James Kottak, among others.

After going through a few changes in line up and the tragic loss of vocalist Rhett W. Forreste (shot to death in an attempted car jacking after refusing to hand his car over), the band now has a current line up of original founding member Rick Plester, Ghames "Rev" Jones on bass (who worked with George Lynch, MSG, James Kottak and legendary virtuoso guitarist Paul Gilbert, to name a few), Robert Vasicek whom was an original keyboardist in the band, Randy Reeman on vocals and Pete Holmes (MSG, Ian Gillan, Ted Nugent, to name a few).


Since their first demo in 1992, as of writing, the band has released 4 full length albums, the most recent album, "Black Symphony Number 4", having been released last year.

(Thanks to Harry - HughesJB4- for the artist's information).




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BLACK SYMPHONY discography


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BLACK SYMPHONY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 5 ratings
Black Symphony
1998
3.11 | 6 ratings
Tears of Blood
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
No 3: Sewing the Seeds of Destruction
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Black Symphony No 4
2007

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BLACK SYMPHONY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tears of Blood by BLACK SYMPHONY album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.11 | 6 ratings

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Tears of Blood
Black Symphony Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars 3 years after their somewhat promising debut, BLACK SYMPHONY return with Tears of Blood. The main man, Rick Plester has changed almost the entire band, with only the bassist Rev Jones remaining. Ric Plamondon has replaced Mike Pierce on vocals but the approach in singing has not changed dramatically.

BLACK SYMPHONY continue on similar patterns as in their debut, playing a hard-edge, aggressive at times, guitar-oriented American prog metal. Alternative rock/metal elements are still playing an important part in the band's sound, but the heavily Alice in Chains-influenced alternative prog metal has shifted towards more straight metal forms, with less melodic moments. The latter mainly depends on the less characteristic - than his predecessor - vocal performance of Plamondon. Another change appears in the somewhat reduced use of the keyboards, which only act as a background supporting instrument rather than taking the lead.

There are still some great moments that create this characteristic melodic-alternative sound for BLACK SYMPHONY and these can be found in I am Hate, Death, Into the Dark and Tears of Blood pt.2. Black Symphony pt.2 aims to duplicate the title track from the debut, but lacks the dynamic lines to support it. Direct influences from bands like Faith No More are obvious in tracks like Take me Down, proving the continuation from the band's debut. However, at the same time it is clearly seen that, although the album is well-structured with some good ideas and punchy heavy riffs, there is no real progression in terms of sound. The result very much resembles the debut and there are minor - if any - sound or approach changes.

Conclusion: Tears of Blood is a good ''alternative'' prog metal album but does not differ to the self-titled debut, which probably has slightly more original moments and should be the first reference point. Not essential, but may prove an interesting listen for fans of prog metal and alternative rock/metal (Faith No More, Alice in Chains).

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 Black Symphony by BLACK SYMPHONY album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.08 | 5 ratings

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Black Symphony
Black Symphony Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars From the album's liner notes, it is evident that BLACK SYMPHONY is virtually a one-man's vision. Rick Plester is the name of the main man behind this - beautifully and successfully named - project, who with his heavy guitar melodies and crunchy keyboard sounds has produced an interesting amalgam of different musical forces.

Released in 1998, this debut shows its musical directions even from the first few tunes: powerful, dynamic and guitar-oriented American progressive metal, supported by the use of acute piano notes and a range of orchestral keyboard sounds. Mike Pierce sings in a relatively strange way, at least for prog metal. The main vocal influences seem to be bands from the alternative-metal scene and this is passed onto the overall character of the album. Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine and Faith No More influences are noticeable. Guitar playing is coming straight from classic metal and American power metal backgrounds. The use of piano sounds in conjunction with heavy guitars sounds as a pleasant novel combination particularly in tracks like Breathe and End of your Life.

The album starts off in an energetic mood with three compositions on a medium-high tempo, dominated by crisp heavy guitars always accompanied by keyboards. However, the focus is constantly put on vocal and backing-vocal melodies even though Mike Pierce's voice sounds relatively aggressive leaning towards more alternative forms. The middle part is somewhat more experimental with more keyboard sections and slow-changing-to-aggressive parts. A few eastern music influences appear in The Poor/The Edge and The Wind that reminded me of Amorphis' Elegy album. Although the album's middle part is not as appealing as the opening, tracks like The Poor/The Edge and Listen involve the best guitar work on this debut.

Period of Mourning returns to the character of the opening tracks on more contemporary forms and mid-tempo beautiful guitar and vocal melodies even if it lasts only 2.5 mins, being the shortest track of the album, before the closing 12 min title track. The Black Symphony's first 5 minutes displays a melodic piano main theme which through Helloween-like riffs builds up to a - yet again - heavy refrain and falls back to the opening melodies. From there on, a symphonic interval, a hard rock guitar theme and solo and an experimental drum/keyboards passage conclude the track relatively indifferently.

This album came in a shiny, impressive all-black plastic case (limited edition) costing 2-3 euros near its time of release and was a pleasant surprise. It can be judged as a positive and promising debut with some excellent and novel ideas, even if you get the feel that the compositions are missing something. The combination of progressive metal with alternative rock/metal forms is interesting - and thus is recommended to fans of the respective genres - but the repeated aggressiveness in the singing might sound tiring.

Highlights: the opening Never and Breathe as well as Period of Mourning

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 Tears of Blood by BLACK SYMPHONY album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.11 | 6 ratings

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Tears of Blood
Black Symphony Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Black Symphony is prog/power metal band from USA. They have some years behind in this field, but they are almost unknown to everybody intrested in this kind of music. The music they play is more towards power metal but with a good doze of prog elements. Tears of blood id their second album from 2001 and is step forward over the first, bith musicaly and lyricaly. While the first album gone unnoticed by listners , the second album was an improvement even in sales category. Not a well known band Black Symphony manage to create not necessary something special, but most of the time pleasent with nice harmonies and well balanced pieces. The first thing that struk me when i've listned first time the album and this band specially is the voice of Ric Plamondon, great voice, very powerfull, fits excellent to this kind of music. He can cover a wide area of vocal parts, from mellow to rough moments, every time he did an excellent job. Non the les the rest of the musicians are good , specially the bass player Rev Jones, who has some intristing chops and well done harmonies. The main man of the band the guitarist Rick Plester has a very intristing aproach to the guitar, from smooth to more rougher sound typical to power metal riffs, he manage to creat something solid and worth investigate if you are fan of this music. Pieces are well balanced, without to many in front and the rest just for filling, Black Symphony relased an album that both is instrising and usual in same time. The music is not special, but is well written and has shining moments like It Remains a Mystery, Death and Forgive Me , the rest are ok, not bad at all but not something special either. If you want to discover some underrated bands from this zone, try this americans, you will not be deseppointed, good music but non essential, at least for me. Some spins worth. 3 stars for Tears of blood, good album but nothing more.

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Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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