Binary Creed - A Battle Won

(CD 2016, 42:41, Rockshots Records RS CD 006)

The tracks:
  1- Servants(4:56)
  2- Lurking In The Shadows(4:34)
  3- In A Time To Come(4:07)
  4- The Fallen King(4:36)
  5- The Ones To Bleed(4:27)
  6- Safer Than Now(4:07)
  7- A Better Man(4:04)
  8- Black Storm(3:07)
  9- These Hands(4:23)
10- Journey Without End(4:17)

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Binary Creed is a Swedish progressive metal band, that also incorporates a lot of power metal elements into their music. After the release of their debut Restitution in 2014 the band is now back with a successor; the conceptual album A Battle Won. The band consists of vocalist and guitar player Andreas Stoltz, guitarist Stefan Rådlund, keyboardist Peo Olofsson and Robert Rasmussen Ahlenius on bass guitar. The album cover notes Peter Widding as drummer, but according to the band's Facebook page, he's no longer a member of the band.

The album opens strong with Servants, a powerful, though bombastic power metal track, that holds the spoken words of Amar Azim El-Amin during his speech in Aleppo, Syria in 2025. Musically Binary Creed could be compared with German metallers Avantasia and sometimes the twin guitars show influences of good old Helloween. The difference with Avantasia is the fact Tobias Sammet invites a select group of guest vocalists to conceal that his vocals are the weakest link on his own albums, I wished Andreas had done the same, at least at certain moments. Not that he is a bad vocalist, songs like In A Time To Come and Safer Than Now are very pleasant to listen to, but during others mister Scholtz, performs on the edge. These Hands intentionally is a great bombastic progressive metal track, a track that without a doubt could have fitted on an Avantasia album and Journey Without End is a short epical track. Both very well performed and played to perfection. The orchestrated keyboard parts throughout A Battle Won perfectly suit this kind of music, but still the music lacks a bit of variation, the tracks are all holding a similar pace and become interchangeable in the end.

Binary Creed's power metal with bombastic, symphonic elements is something you have to like, if you like a band like Avantasia, give them a try. My overall opinion remains somewhere in the middle, just because of the mediocracy of the compositions and Andreas vocal abilities.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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