Review: DESPITE – Synergi
T. Ray Verteramo
A good band will keep you guessing, but an exceptional one will keep you listening.
Despite has some very different bits of meat stuck on their Core-ish bones. Using just a touch of progressive elements to flavor the delivery, Synergi succeeds as a viable work of art of unquestionable Metal. Flexible, yet distinguishable – hard, but not stubborn. The clean singing is not too clean and the blastbeats don’t blast, but, somehow it all works.
This is an 18-year old band from Sweden signed to a New Jersey label, who once donated proceeds from their single, “Praedonum” to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which makes them almost as interesting to know as they are to hear. VH1 voted them one of “fifteen metal bands you should be listening to,” in 2015. http://www.despiteofficial.com/
There are no particular instruments that stand out or outshine any other, but the subliminal nuances of a hum or a soft harmony here and there add an eerie, intriguing touch to the songs and their sound.
The first video, “As You Bleed” is a visual yawner, unfortunately. The whole “band plays on while splattered in Kool-Aid” schtick has been so overdone, it’s almost lazy. However, they picked a good song to kick-start the promotion, as it’s got a great hook and tons of ‘tude.
Other notables, such as “Perpetual Weakening” which opens the curtain with atmospheric tones before jumping into a dysfunctional monologue, is rich in tempo changes and meandering dynamics. “Chaos Trigger” has got some nice bite and scratch with over-the-top vocals and deep harmonies.
“Time Lapse,” however, is a different fish as their one Melodic Death piece on the project, which they pull off very well. Though, it may be commercially acceptable, it is not a thoughtless product. There’s real feeling and strength to this tune that may potentially open other avenues for this daring band to explore further.
VH1 may actually have a point. Synergi adds just a touch of theatre and a whole lot of proper rage, splicing yet another head off the Metal Hydra. Not that we need another sub-genre head on the monster, but a new face could make a nice change.