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Follow The Cipher - Follow The Cipher

Follow The Cipher - Follow The Cipher

Label : Nuclear Blast | Archive under heavy / power metal

Release type: Full-length CD

Sjak : Follow The Cipher is a new Swedish heavy metal outfit that was founded in 2014 by guitar player Ken Kängström, who became especially well-known by the fact that he has written the Sabaton-tune ‘Carolus Rex’. In Linda Toni Grahn he found the right singer (who is the perfect front lady not only because of her great voice but also because of her striking appearance) and later on the line-up was completed by guitar player Viktor Carlsson, bass player Jonas Asplind and drummer Karl Löfgren. The band was immediately picked up by the Nuclear Blast label after they had seen the band performing live on Sabaton Open Air in 2017. Seeing the enormous promotion that is done for this eponymously entitled debut album, they really think that Follow The Cipher is going to be “the next big thing” and that will put quite some pressure on the band to fulfil those high expectations.

In any case they have set a big step in the right direction by means of this excellent debut album, on which ten self-written tunes and a very well performed cover of the already mentioned Sabaton-song ‘Carolus Rex’ are to be found. It is however especially their own material which makes quite a strong impression on me. The songs are characterized by lovely traditional, but at the same time somewhat modern sounding riffs of both guitarists Kängström and Carlsson and the powerful, versatile voice of Linda Toni Grahn, which not only from a visual perspective but also from a sound perspective draws most attention to her. That can only be clearly expressed when the song material is suited for it and that has certainly been well taken care of by the song writers on duty.

Especially the fantastic ‘Valkyria’, ‘Winterfall’ (which reminds me quite a lot of the heavier eighties hair metal bands), ‘Starlight’ and ‘The Rising’ sound impressive, but the rest of the material doesn’t lag too far behind. The lovely mix of traditional power metal with the necessary progressive influences is performed flawlessly and, supported by the crystal-clear production, that accounts for a truly great debut album, on which Follow The Cipher presents itself as one of the most promising new metal bands. Hopefully the band can perform this material on stage soon as well, because these kind of songs are very well suited to create a nice party in a live situation. For the time being however there are no tour dates announced yet and therefore we’ll have to do it with this mighty-fine debut album for now, which is a must for everyone that digs heavy traditional, yet melodic power metal with great vocals. ‘Follow The Cipher’ is a very enjoyable first acquaintance with this Swedish band I might say…

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