(Andy Synn reviews the latest release by the Italian band Synodik.)
It was way back in 2012 when itinerant Italian Tech-Death types Synodik released their debut album, which largely flew under the radar for most people (including yours truly). In fact I almost missed out on their latest EP as well, seeing as how it was actually released over 12 months ago now, and I honestly only stumbled across its existence by pure chance.
You’ll be thankful I did though as, despite the fact that it’s only a mere three tracks long (one introduction, and two full songs), there’s a lot here to satisfy even the most discerning of Progressive/Technical Death Metal aficionados… and hopefully grab the band a few new fans in the process.
Whilst the introductory synth-scapes of “Projections from the Edge” certainly function well enough to set the scene, the real meat of this (currently digital-only) EP is found in the extremely impressive pairing of “When The Parallels Fall” and “The Perceived Wisdom”, which together clock up a densely packed fifteen minutes of techtastic, prog-injected, Death Metal delights between them.
Reminiscent in places of both Swedish tech-lords Soreption and British post-death penitents Ageless Oblivion, the opening to “When the Parallels Fall” has a taut, tumultuous intensity to it – all brutal, guttural growls, and dense, bone-grinding riff work – that helps the track make an immediate and impressive impact, before things suddenly (and smoothly) take a turn for the progressive a few minutes in, the song spreading its wings in a scintillating display of proggy melody and spacious, dynamic song-writing.
Over the course of the rest of its 07:45 run-time the track shifts seamlessly between intricately layered moments of proggy, instrumental introspection and scathing segments of high-voltage Death Metal force, keeping the audience effortlessly engaged and on their toes as it slips and slides and shimmies towards its crushing climax.
Following this, the coiled, serpentine riffage and nimble, nuanced percussive passages that kick off “The Perceived Wisdom” immediately grab you by the collar and demand your full attention… though the smooth, echoing clean singing and fluidly melodic guitar work which follow will certainly be an unexpected surprise to many.
The band are careful to balance these progressive touches with a molten heart of pure Tech-Death power, though, delivering generous lashings of rumbling, churning riffery and skittering, blasting drumming as part and parcel of their ambitious and forward-thinking brand of Extreme Metal.
The song concludes in an extravagant display of shamelessly proggy keys, complex, soaring riffs, and lithe, dynamic shifts which practically leave you salivating for more, meaning that it’s hard not to just push “play” again immediately once the song has finished.
Fans of bands like Fallujah, Allegaeon, Obscura… or really anything on the more proggy and indulgent side of the Tech-Death spectrum… would do well to keep an eye on these guys.