From Tragedy

Southern Cross

Even if the technical level is set up in a pretty elevated mode, and even […]
By YngwieViking
September 23, 2013
Southern Cross - From Tragedy album cover

Even if the technical level is set up in a pretty elevated mode, and even if all the well trained members of SOUTHERN CROSS are musically competent and prolific in their respective skills, the Canadian bunch does not belongs to the category of those band trying to impress with the virtuosic prowess, in fact rather SOUTHERN CROSS prefers to write good songs first, with some solid melodic appeals, strong atmospheric perspectives and a constancy in the lyrical passionate interpretations.

This album was released confidentially in March 2012, but in April 2013, the high profile label specialized in all things progressive Unicorn Records, has opted for a reissue campaign, along with their fellows INNER ODYSSEY and their "Have A Seat" album, and it was a smart move and a second chance for us in order to catch this silver platter once and for all. So don't miss it.

"From Tragedy" isn't my first experience with SOUTHERN CROSS as I was always aware of their obvious talent. But while I gave some repetitive listening to their past works, unfortunately I stood perplexed, always with a strange sense of frustration, as if I was missing something, but this time I was immediately seduced... Maybe musicians have evolved enough and their maturity is very noticeable in every composition, in every structure, or in the numerous ambient sequences. The absolute control and the melodic mastery seem to be the most common words to define this great effort. Of course a few hint from RUSH are expected but in a very small dose , the harsh vocals are sporadic and only present in the opening track and in the bonus tracks, such as the great "Violento" that carry also a magnificent and extremely memorable chorus in the same vein as VANDEN PLAS.

Some track like the emotional "Carrousel" or "Reaching The Bottom" are still strongly influenced by SHADOW GALLERY's melodic beauty, in my mouth this is a fantastic qualitative comparison. They managed to evacuate almost entirely the embarrassing and obvious resemblance with DREAM THEATER that polluted the first couple of albums , yet the vocals in the second bonus track "Confession" are still quite similar to the typical James LaBrie rendition, which is not necessary a bad thing.

However in "Between the Lines" and "Poetry" we can witness a lot of twist and turn in the arrangements, a complexity that can recall Petrucci & Co., but the deepness in the bombastic orchestrations and the rich melodic focus are there to reach another state of craft under a superb artistic exhibition and to recall why the Progressive Metal is such an uplifting genre.

One of the most interesting melodic Prog Metal release in the contemporary times, the path is still long & rocky to stardom but along with HEAVEN'S CRY or BOREALIS, definitively SOUTHERN CROSS stands as one of the most interesting act from Canada. 

8 / 10


"From Tragedy" Track-listing:

1. Tightrope
2. Between The Lines
3. Caroussel
4. Invisible Roads
5. Reaching The Bottom
6. Poetry
7. Violento
8. Confession

Southern Cross Lineup:

David Lizotte - Lead vocal / Guitars
Olivier Perrier-Maurel - Guitars / Backing Vocals
Jean-François Boudreault - Bass / Backing Vocals
Antoine Guertin - Drums / Synths / Backing Vocals

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