SYNESTESIA are yet another band from Finland trying to enchant the music world with one of the most renown trademarks of the Finnish music industry – Melodic Metal. In this case the listener is offered a load of melodies interwoven with a Death Metal fabric. The band made their debut a couple of years ago by releasing – pretty unusually – a live album and the below-reviewed piece is their first regular studio work.
Those of you who are eagerly awaiting some new blood infused into the Melodic Death scene will very likely turn up their noses up at this album, while the ardent followers of this genre will surely feel completely satisfied. The Finns do not offer anything which an average fan of Gothenburg sound would not be familiar with but on the other hand it has to be said that their ideas are executed simply flawlessly. The guitars are sawing nicely in the typically Melodeath vein transforming from time to time into a fine solo effort, the vocalist is close to rip his throat while delivering the lyrics and it is neither no surprise to hear some clean singing in one or other of the choruses. The thing is that they play in a pretty conservative way only sometimes forgetting for a while about the traditional and worn-out formula of their favourite music. Apart form these generic features one can hear some influences from Goth Metal in the form of keyboard layers in certain chorus parts, female vocals or even violin performance in the instrumental interlude somewhere in the middle of this work.
As for some captivating moments here – the first one appears already at the start with the title track, which was also released as single this year. Interesting that in this case we talk about a real single – only one song and nothing more – no live versions, no radio edits, no covers. Well, after all it is single, right? The song consist of several tempo changes, aggressive riffs supported by destructive drums, a catchy chorus based on a keyboard line and a very pleasant – though short – guitar solo. If you add to this the lyrics sung exclusively in Finnish, every Melodeath maniac of the land of the thousand lakes will doubtless try this out. Regrettably though it is one of the few things that distinguishes the ensemble from the rest of modern Melodic Death groups.
Another more interesting thing on the agenda is the track called ”Päätös” which includes one of the best choruses on the whole release performed by some female singer. Even a number of guitar parts is slightly different here emanating with a kind of Progressive warmth. Other moments that offer something memorable are “Ouhdas Sattuma” (the beginning here resembles somehow of IN FLAMES classic “Trigger”) and “Rakastan Sinua” (what a lovely title, seriously) being one of the most catchy pieces on the whole release. Just as the album opener is a tune to check so is the closing song a moment to acquaint oneself with, mainly for the guitar work, female voices and the keys, which all create a very spatial, atmospheric, nearly dreamy sound landscape, somewhat unusual for Melodeath Metal.
SYNESTESIA are a group of solid and skilful music creators well aware of how to make good Melodic Death Metal. On the other hand the number of at least somewhat original moments is too small for me to give this record a very high rate – we will see what the next album will be like. Of course if you are a maniac of this style, you can easily put this album inside your stereo.
(Online May 15, 2009)