2010 is shaping up to be an eventful year for Faroese Metal music. With TÝR already having nailed their viking themed Progressive Metal into the hearts of thousands, the sophomore arrival of SIC´s second album, the appearance of new monickers such as HAMFERÐ, EARTH DIVIDE and HELJAREYGA (incidentally featuring Heri Joensen of TÝR at the helm), and finally, the release of SYNARCHY´s first album, it looks as if Metal music is slowly taking off on these islands.
Entitled “Scars Of Gratitude”, SYNARCHY´s first album packs twelve tracks with around one hour of music. The band blends various kinds of corish and more traditional old school thrashy riffs together with memorable melodies, as heard on teutonic opener “Mirror Miles”. The songs switch from heavy and melodic to occasional blastbeats and parts that are atmospheric, overall the band´s sound is fairly reminiscient of names like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SOILWORK and MERCENARY.
For a debut album, the songwriting is above par, somewhat fresh without being anything overly exciting. Most of the tracks are well constructed with enough heaviness and small finesses that don´t overshadow their keen sense for melodies. Songs like “Beyond My Wreckage” (contains a dangerously brewed breakdown stomp that Robb Flynn and Co. might just consider stealing for a future MACHINE HEAD song), “Perfect Enemy”, “Keep Me Safe” and closer “Place Of Liberation” all come out as good, versatile songs.
The band´s strongest aspect, I think, are the melodies. Vocals, guitars and keyboards, all bring lots of catchy but also epic melodies to the songs, especially songs like “Descending” (my favourite track as I write this) and the killer title track have some truly memorable melodies in them. Speaking of vocals, there´s nothing spectacular going on here, but I think the clean singing of Leon Hansen (no matter how Metalcore they may sound like) has some potential if he continues to work on them, whereas his harsher style works good with the music but really don´t sound all that extreme to my ears, but that´s just me.
Soundwise, the album sounds like a very professional recording at first, but paying more attention to details, I think the guitars could´ve used a beefier sound, and from what I´m hearing, the keyboard audio levels aren´t that focused, very different from song to song. One final critique, is that I would like to hear some more solos from the two axemen, I think it would spice up the songs even more.
All in all, a good debut from one of the “older” players in the Faroese Metal scene, there´s been a great deal of progression since I reviewed their demo back in 2007, a good fundament to build upon.
(Online June 20, 2010)