Cygnus s a Belgian progressive metal quartet, that was founded in 2015 by guitarist Eric Callaerts and bass player Benny Vercammen. Two experienced musicians, who have been playing together for a long time now in several hard rock bands. Cygnus is the first attempt of the duo in the progressive metal scene. The two are accompanied by drummer Kjell De Raes and lead vocalist Frank Vermeiren.
The First Hour is a very pleasant introduction to the scene, both musical as well as vocally Cygnus sounds very promising. Where the opener Skin People is a solid track that has one foot deep into heavy metal, the following Before Sunrise sees a more balanced progressive metal meets heavy metal composition. This powerful track really shows the potential of Cygnus. A Papa Roach referring guitar melody is accompanied by very well dosed drums, that really push forward. Over this base, the intense vocals of Frank Vermeiren totally fall into place, resulting in a very strong song. I am hoping for this direction to continue during the last two tracks, or even on a real full album. Cyborg takes a little step back and shows a more melodic side of Cygnus, guest musician JP Kerkhofs plays a very stong keyboard solo during this track, but still the great sounding guitar of Eric is the point of attention for me. The final track War is an instrumental composition that fuses elements of Dream Theater with Fates Warning riffs and Threshold's delicacy. Although the track is an instrumental one, for me, musically this one challenges Before Sunrise for being the most interesting track of the, way too short, EP. Especially the end, where the powerful track shifts into a smooth relaxed guitar solo, impresses me.
With The First Hour, Cygnus has proven themselves to be an inventive and solid progressive metal band. According to this EP, the band look towards a bright future.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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