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Syphor | ‘Stained Glass Blasphemy’


Syphor havent chosen an easy field in which to distinguish themselves. After all, melodic deathy thrashy metal is hardly a selling point these days. Everyone’s been at it for years. Yet the Dublin quintet prove that with a little invention, the style can still be invigorating.

Part of the reason is that although it straddles a few genres, they haven’t made it complicated. It’s just good metal.

The band show some real class on occasion. Take second track ‘War’ – opening with a fantastic, broody clean guitar, it’s got a strong link to classic Priest throughout, in spirit if not in sound.

The highlight of this release though has to be ‘All Our Might’, which is nothing short of a thrashing scorcher. Locked tight right from the first note, it pelts along at 100mph before slowing into a crunching end section whose solo even recalls the lead tone of Marty Freidman-era Megadeth. They also show a good ear for interesting production techniques with an odd guitar gurgle going on in there too. A great track.

‘Darkness’ too, despite it’s unprepossessing title, has some decent harmonies and riffs. It’s a cut that preserves interest for what’s essentially just a mid paced track – no mean feat, and it’s indicative of the kind of variety that marks Syphor out.

It’s not easy to be consistently varied and interesting within the utterly stock field of melodic thrashy / death metal. Most if not everything has been done before, and twice at that. So any band that comes to the fray with something even mildly different deserves an ear.

There’s a distinct nod to Slayer in the likes of ‘God Fearing Lunatic’, with it’s tight rhythm crunch and powerful drumming. Actually did I just hear a vocal line going ‘Spirit Alone In Black’? Why yes. Funny that.

So far, so good. But there is one element that lets this release down, even if it does largely fall on personal preference. It’s the daffy duck vocals. I’m just not sure they suit this style of music at all, and there’s bound to be better ways to attack these lyrics.

The problem with the blacker style rasp is that it’s thin. There’s no power, and it just sounds a little weak on top of good chunking riffwork like this. It would be worthwhile for the vocalist to explore other options within his range. Even a coarsely sung style may be better.

While it’s not enough to entirely put the listener off, it does have its effect. That shouldn’t be allowed to stand in the way of what’s essentially a very capable album however, and which has a lot of the right moves in place.

Though they’re an unsigned band, Syphor have definitely ironed out a lot of the typical demo ills, making this a solid spin. Their riffs are good and varied, the lead guitar is alright, the drums are cracking and overall it sounds like a METAL album.

Gets my thumbs up, then.

3.4 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 28/07/11


9 Comments
  1. For the first tracks that were recorded for this album (war/zombie moon), I chose to keep the vocal track singular, straight and unaugmented, its real its raw and its all me, going forward with this in the album recordings I kept the format the same, being our first release we intended from the beginning to go along the oldschool roots of post production to keep the overall sound, for want of a better term “basic”, i’m not a huge fan of augmentation in vocal tracks as i feel the audiable true ability gets lost in the mix, (that and my obsessive love of blackmetal) however all criticism is constructive and I will endeavor to adjust and overcome my own reservations in these areas to please all (or most!) ears, daffy duck is dead and on the spit roast!

  2. Thanks to the Metal Ireland guy’s for an all around good solid review.

    As Dan’s stated there we’ve already been looking to being even more varied on the next album, not just vocally but musically too.

    Thanks again
    Jay – Syphor

  3. The vocal issue disappeared for me after seeing them live, top notch front man

  4. Recommend with all my might

  5. Boveril Biscuit Says:

    First of all let me state that I enjoy CT’s reviews, especially concerning local acts, I find them objective and informative.

    Now for the rant. After every local review why do band members feel the need to come on with the obligatory “Thanks for the review Ciaran, all those things you said were spot on and we’re going to work on that straight away” Ciaran is a critic, not an authority on music (not that he ever claimed to be), so there’s no need to come on and tell us what you are and are not working on. If you happen to agree with something said in the review keep it to yourself and work on it, otherwise by coming on and agreeing and making a meal of certain points like the Daffy Duck reference, I feel you are undermining your own material.

  6. i think your wrong your imp-ion is flat like the notes you like and i like daffy duck so he sounds awesome like immortal and death and others Friedman kicks ass so and megadeth rules and so does syphor i know lots of other radio stations are waiting or good music like syphor

  7. @Boveril Biscuit.

    I don’t think someone wants to show some respect or reverence to the guy that makes the review, telling that they appreciate the critics and are working on this or that, like they want to follow his opinion like he’s a god. The difference between local underground bands and big established bands is that with the local ones you can really have a chat, some interactions, and sometimes they appreciate the feedbacks and advices. Not because they’re not happy or solid about their music, but because the inputs from the audience can really help ideas and originality flowing. This could be a coincidence, but Dan ( Syphor vocalist ) was the first one that wanted to develop and vary his style on the next album, and so do Jay, Daragh, and me, and that is not happening because someone said so, but it’s like our own need to feel that we can grow up as musicians. So what I think is that Dan is going to change and vary his style anyway, not because someone said “Daffy Duck”, but he felt the need to share this, as he wasn’t totally happy with the previous recordings, mainly because we did everything under pressure and rush, because having an album out soon could have opened some doors.
    And it actually did, so now it’s up to us doing the best sequel we can.
    \m/

  8. hi was wondering where the album is available to buy thanks

  9. Album’s available on iTunes & Amazon mp3 and we’ll have hard copies in Into The Void next week. Alternatively, hit us up on facebook and we’ll get a copy out to ya. CD’s are €8. Cheers for the support.

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