Ill Grande Scisma D'Oriente - _Synesthesia_
by: Mark Dolson (2.5 out of 5)
Ill Grande Scisma D'Oriente's new promo, entitled _Synestheisa_, features twenty-three minutes (over five tracks) of very interesting and progressive death metal. I don't really know too much about this band, other than the fact that they are a five piece (now four, since they are looking for a new drummer), and come from Italy. I thought the album title was interesting: the word "synesthesia" is largely used as a poetical device to connote the experience of some form of sense impression in terms of another. The ability to "hear colours" or "taste sounds" are both examples of synesthesia. I also thought the cover artwork was excellent. There's what looks to be a reddish-orange singularity ("black hole") wherein a series of contorted hands are reaching towards what looks to be an angel heading toward the centre of the singularity. There are moths, butterflies and dragonflies circling the outer edge of the singularity -- seemingly drawn to its centre by the force of its gravitational pull.

I found the song title structure to be rather intriguing, too. What we have here are three "acts" or "sections" broken up into five songs, which span twenty-three minutes. More specifically, we've got the first section, "synesthesia" which is made up of tracks one and two; the second section, "Hypnagogia" is made up of tracks three and four; and, lastly, the section "Onironauta" is made up of track five.

Now, for an independently release promo, I found the production to be quite good. All of the instruments are discernable; and the vocals aren't too muffled in the mix -- it's a professional sounding job, that's for sure. My problem here is with the music. This is out and out Opeth worship in its most unalloyed form, folks. Without a hint of exaggeration, Ill Grande Scisma D'Oriente sound just like mid-era (i.e., post _Still Life_) Opeth. It's actually quite impressive how accurately this band have managed to translate all of mid-era Opeth's trademarks into their music -- everything from the sweeping, dissonant-sounding riffs, the clean guitar interludes, the hazy, smoky-sounding solos, the drumming patterns with their idiosyncratic time changes, and especially the vocals (both brutal and clean). Emanuele Capparelli's clean vocals sound just like Mikael Ã…kerfeldt -- though not quite as smooth.

The bottom line is, I think that the musicianship is excellent on this promo; and I think the band's ability to perfect their craft to the extent that they sound like a carbon copy of Opeth is in itself quite impressive; however, it's not sufficient to warrant anything more than a passing comment like, "huh, they sound just like Opeth". So, then, inasmuch as Opeth already exists, we really don't need another band trying to emulate their formula -- regardless of how accurate that emulation is. As such, my advice to Ill Grande Scisma D'Oriente is to push your song-writing boundaries further in order to cultivate, define and purvey your own unique sound -- as a band, you certainly have the talent and capability to do so.


(article published 14/2/2010)

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