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Memorable - A Personal Favourite - 83%

DeathRiderDoom, June 13th, 2010

*Written for the 10th MA Virgin Reviews Challenge

Great to see this one is still unreviewed as of the time of writing. I’ve had my eye on it for over a year but just haven’t got round to it. If you ask me – Siren was a great power metal band – hailing from the same Florida scene (believe me – there was enormous heavy/power metal scene here) as Savatage, Crimson Glory, Tampa’s Siren never reached the heights of their Sunshine State brethren. Siren got started in very early ‘80s with a self financed demo ‘Metro-Mercenary’ surfacing in ’84, that became a sought after release, showcasing a raw, NWOBHM influenced power metal sound with dark overtones. After a series of further demos, Siren would finally get a chance to churn out a full length after snagging a small deal with Flametrader. ‘No Place Like Home’ features a slightly cleaner, though still dark and fantastical blend of progressive power metal that shows some definite refinement in the bands sound, as well as a good deal of variation throughout.

Though somewhat having their own sound (not to the extent of their phenomenally unique fellow-Florida peers), one could say that Siren’s sound is comparable at times to Syrus, Graven Image, Savatage, Banshee, Matthias Steele and especially Northwestern legends Glacier. Though often branded as ‘progressive’ metal – they don’t quite have the technical overtures of bands like Jester’s March or Queensryche - the progressive aspects are not as full-blown, but they are there. This album largely revolves around dark, shadowy power metal tracks like the thundering ‘Terrible Swift Sword’ and moody openers ‘Black Death’ and ‘So far to Go’. Anyway, I feel the album is very solid – I have a special place for about every track on here, while ‘Iron Coffins’ is perhaps my absolute favourite. Guitar ideas are neat, though I won’t say they have the greatest guitars, or awesomest vocals out there – the overall quality of the music, and the cool uniqueness to it makes for a solid album.

‘No Place Like Home’ is a debut record that has received mixed-receptions over the years. Personally, I’ve had this thing a long time and whenever I come back to it, it’s like I’ve forgotten how much I love the damn thing. I love the dark, moody and foreboding tone of the material – perhaps best typified by the awesomely horrific ‘Iron Coffins’ – a chilling track about the horrors of u-boat combat in WWII. I really love the riffs and the mixed influences coming into this thing. There’s definite comparisons to some of the other darker power metal bands out there, but Siren, with it’s progressive touches is somewhat more refined – less raw and aggressive than bands like Graven Image, though with as dark a vibe going on as almost anyone - Sinister Angel included. The album seems like the natural progression of their early demo materials, and is usually highly respected amongst most metal fans – also it is considered better than their follow up effort.

-DeathRiderDoom