Syrach - _Days of Wrath_
(Napalm Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Syrach may originate from Bergen, Norway, but their doomy progressions are far removed from anthems dedicated to the darkening welkin. Although superficially a death/doom album in the mid to late Nineties tradition, traditional doom in the Saint Vitus and Candlemass vein has had a major impact, as many of the songs are based around classic heavy metal melodies. Aaron Stainthorpe of doom legends My Dying Bride is responsible for the cover art, and the influence of My Dying Bride can be easily discerned, such as the lead melody early in opener "Are You Able to Breathe Fire?". This influence is not overwhelming or omnipresent, and is merely just another piece of ammunition for their substantial arsenal.

Syrach are neither particularly raw nor melodic, but maintain a delicate balance between the two, and the old-school production complements their approach perfectly. Vocals are largely light growls with a pronounced husky edge, whilst female vocals are provided by Silje Wergeland of Octavia Sperati on several tracks. However, her presence is expertly handled and her voice is used to supplement already potent numbers rather than poorly disguise weaker moments.

The result is not something that is particularly original or experimental, but sufficiently large doses of innovation and passion are enough to ensure an engaging album well worth a place in any doom collection.


(article published 15/3/2008)

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