Syphor continue to distinguish themselves following their solid last demo back in 2009.
It was a collection of cuts that showed they could add to the oversaturated melodic death / thrash genre with a dash of invention and an audible purpose.
This follow up confirms it, and betters their last effort in several areas – mainly the guitars.
That’s due to a new use of downtuning that lends a lot of weight and a lot of groove to these detailed riffs. Where other bands use this to dumb down, simplify and rely on plain old chugging, Syphor have done the opposite. Their intricate forumlations are maintained on the low strings, making it massively ear-worthy.
There are also ample speedy sections, which if not always blastbeats proper (there are a few) lend solid pace. Just check “Reckoning” for a spirited speedy break that recalls some of the best early Cradle of Filth, despite that being nothing even close to Syphor’s overall style. It’s a melody thing.
The snare sound is fantastic. Though sounding intially a bit ping pong, over the course of the album it blends nicely in, giving itself prominence and adding bounce to those fast sections.
It’s not only the rhythm guitar that’s cool either. There’s a load of quality leads on here that have clearly been worked at, and well placed harmonising is present throughout.
So there’s a lot to like.
My only real qualm, as with last time, is the vocals. I still think that the high pitched rasp needs a little re-thinking, or tweaking anyhow. A lower or sung style would just suit this music so much better, and lend much greater import.
Also, the band have a tendency to “wallpaper” the music with the vocals. At times it can feel as though no second is left uncovered by some rasping. Power comes from having a break then kicking in – not just total intensity at all times.
These however are reasonably small gripes in the scheme of a great welt of songs that show tightness, confidence of playing and an experienced approach to melody.
Crucially, they also know when to just rock out, as ‘Frozen Soul’ or ‘Pulpits & Effigies Burn’ show.
An absolutely solid release, one that shows development, and that with a few directional decisions going forard should result in longevity for the band.
3.6 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 08/01/14