Synodik - _Sequences for a New Matrix_
(Independent, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
Almost everything sounds better when amplified, in high volume, live or -- god forbid -- when one is high on a chemical or natural a substance. But try to turn the volume down for a second and listen to the music. If it still hasn't lost its charm, if the energies you thought it contains still burst out of your loudspeakers and punch you in the stomach, then you might just have stumbled upon something worthy.

_Sequences for a New Matrix_ sounds good in any volume. It sounds good because it owns an intrinsic powerhouse amidst its sonic body that does not succumb to this or that volume, or any other mode of listening.

Formerly known as Asylum, under its altered moniker Synodik the band has recorded an album that should be deemed as the hallmark of commitment; commitment to sound, presentation, song writing perfection, execution and professionalism. _Sequences for a New Matrix_ is a mature, vital and strong a statement by an ultra talented band; a band that is as unheralded as it is talented.

This independent self-release excels on every account referred to heavy metal. Its brutality is unmatched, spewing forth an array of bellowing down-tuned guitars and bass-heavy lines all over the place, coupled with more than adequate a vocalist belonging to the brutal death metal school, but not quite the ridiculous cookie monster type.

Establishing this backbone for the overall recording, the band experiments successfully with the technical aspects of death metal, offering many rhythm changes, solos, and erratic and beautiful riffs (and an abundance of hooks, while at it). Into that marvelous mess of virtually structureless display of raw power, excellent and surprisingly efficient keyboards are thrown, adding in turn a mystical dimension to the hard and heavy tunes, perfecting the sound of Synodik: a sound so familiar yet so alien.

Albeit _Sequences for a New Matrix_ could superficially be regarded as "brutal death metal", it is far from it. Of course, it is death metal through and through, but that's only the stage's backdrop. The music is magically melodic, the many breaks allow for both jazz and progressive elements to emerge and shine; the music knows where to slow down and allow the vocalist to use his fine clear voice to make a statement before picking up pace and returning to its maelstrom essence, as if nothing had happened.

_Sequences for a New Matrix_ echoes many an influence by the likes of Sadist and Nocturnus (the keyboard work; the maximum exploitation of the guitar and its massive potential); Cynic, Atheist or Aghora (the Jazz-meets-metal concept; the many rhythm changes); and when the band chooses to just play mid-paced classic, melodic death metal, it sounds like the finest of Sweden's bastard sons, be it At the Gates or any other unholy prodigy along those lines.

Fans of Canada's Augury -- the unique death metal act that plays brutal death metal which is anything but your habitual cup of brutality -- especially the band's finest hour, namely its 2004 album _Concealed_, take heed: _Sequences for a New Matrix_ is the best European answer to the aforementioned unique recording I can think of (sans the female vocals presented on _Concealed_).

I haven't enjoyed a death metal album so immensely for a long time; a death metal album par excellence, yet one that dodges all and every fault and pitfall post-modern death metal suffers from. Highly recommended!


(article published 27/11/2012)

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