German SYNASTHASIA do not only have a nightmare of a name to type, but apparently also are pretty active, because I have the next 3 track promo on my table. Sent pretty adventurously, as CD-R in the little paper baggy, with address and stamp, they excuse themselves for the cheap packaging, but hey, a bit more effort would not have hurt, would it?
A powerful mix of Melodic Metal and some Power Metal is reaching my ears, packed into a really excellent sound, which is no coincidence, because as winner of the "Superband" contest they could record these songs for free in the MidasTwins studio (POWERGOD, THE TRACEELORDS) (which in turn could lead to the conclusion that they should have had at least a little more money to give the whole thing any visual side at all), so from that side everything in the absolute green.
Opener "Discovery Of The Mask" nicely sits in Melodic Metal and shows quite some maturity in terms of song writing and also arrangements, as the changes are done very fluent and also the performance is beyond criticism, especially the vocals of Dennis Schunke should be mentioned here, which fit the music very well and are able to leave their stamp on the song. "The Quest For The Dharacle" (whatever a "Dharacle" is supposed to be) is a good bit faster, but does not neglect the melodies and arrangements that the opener already had shown. At times bordering on Power Metal SYNASTHASIA very well stay this side of the usual clichés, which I have to hold for them as a simple, generic song would not have been as hard to write as one that in fact differs.
And also the closing "Scotias Death" has a good drive, also is rather in the up tempo, with good riffing, very good vocal arrangements, surely nothing ground breaking, but to me it is more important that the song is good and this one definitely is. A pity that we only get three songs, even more so as "Discovery Of The Mask" and "Scotias Death" already had been featured on their first promo and the full album, so I already get for the third time now, the new track "The Quest For The Dharacle", though, is really promising and also showcases the technical abilities of the guys.
Altogether an already quite mature performance of the Duisburg based folks, who really start to earn their merits. Who is interested in this mini disc (no, not MiniDisc) can order it for 1,50 Euro (plus 2 Euro shipping and handling) I hope for some new stuff and at least a bit more than a visually very meagre CD-R. (Online January 31, 2004)