|Syn Ze Sase Tri - 2012 - Sub Semnul Lupului|
|Syn Ze Sase Tri - 2012 - Sub Semnul Lupului|
Symphonic black metal from Romania, latest full-length album released in 2012.|
If there was ever a piece of album art which reflected the content perfectly, it's Syn Ze Sase Tri's Sub Semnul Lupului. From a distant glance, it's really cool. Very epic, rich colours and lots of detail. After closer inspection, you start to see the poor computer generated graphics and the incongruous depth & lighting.
The content? If not paying close attention, it's a very cool meloblack album steeped in synthesizers, and it is...sort of. Unfortunately, On closer inspection however, the synths have this tendency to really cheapen the whole feel of the album. Would the band be much better off without them entirely? Definitely not. These synthesizers (and some folk type moments) are an integral part of the music, not just some gimmick-sauce to spice up an otherwise generic album. The even stranger thing is these synthesizers aren't even all that bad 100% of the time. In fact, the parts that are synthesized stringed-instruments and whatnot are actually pretty decent. It's the trumpets that really sound crappy, sort of bringing in mind Ex Deo's flimsy debut album Romulus. It really comes across as an act of sacrificing consistency for variation; good on them, but it really didn't work out.
Here's where things get conflicted; despite having a lot amateurish synth sounds, this is actually a really good album. The riffs, regardless of tempo, seem to always manage to be incredibly infectious, whether playing at a stomping march, or full-blown blast beat driven black metal. As stated before, they've managed to make all the whole synth/symphonic/folkish aspect of this album integral without making it a crutch. All this spells out is just great song writing, which is the most important part of it. Poor recording can usually be remedied by approaching things with the right mindset. Bad song writing is bad song writing, fortunately there isn't any of that going on here.
This a must listen for anyone who loves clean, epic black metal. Ignoring all the flaws in some of the chosen synth sounds, this really is a gem.
Syn Ze Sase Tri At MySpace
Symphonic black metal has always left me an impression of being a more pussified/watered-down version of black metal, with bands like Dimmu Borgir drenching their music in keyboards and symphonic elements that their music could hardly be considered black metal personally anymore. But Romania's Syn Ze Sase Tri left me rather intrigued, first by their country of origin, then by that beautiful album artwork that evokes a folk/viking metal feel. What's more, being released under the cult label Code666 also meant that there's a potential that their latest album Sub Semnul Lupului could surprise me.
And surprise me it did. Rather than taking the usual route of symphonic black metal bands, Syn Ze Sase Tri has somehow managed to infuse some folk/viking elements into their music, and this comes across strongly on songs like Nascut Din Negura, where there is a certain majestic feel in the music, not only in the guitar riffs and the drumming, but also in the way that the band has managed to include the symphonic elements in the music nicely, with sufficient presence yet not drowning out any of the other instruments, and completely avoiding any chances of sounding cheesy. Other than the usual symphonic effects, the band also utilises other sound effects and traditional instruments that underlie the music to ensure that there's a constant haunting atmosphere.
The innovation of the band is also heard through the incorporation of elements of various other genres in the music as well, such as the neo-classical piano that can be spotted throughout the album. The high presence especially on Legea Strabunilor is interesting to say the least, and provides a rather different experience to other symphonic black metal bands that I have encountered thus far. Sound samples are also utilised suitably, such as the marching on Sambata Apelor, enhancing the overall listening experience.
The band does not neglect their traditional extreme metal elements though. The riffs that are unleashed by Corb are ballsy and aggressive, and at times remind listeners of fellow viking-themed bands such as Amon Amarth with a more black metal feel, such as on Vatra Stramoseasca, though his lead guitar style varies rather widely, with moments that even border melodic death metal. The black metal feel is further backed up by the shrieking vocals of Lycan, somewhat reminiscent of vocalists like Shagrath, sending chills down the listener's spine. The alternating between the high-pitched shrieks and growls in the album also provide a nice contrast, giving a fuller sound to the songs. These elements all add up together to make Sub Semnul Lupului an extremely enjoyable journey, managing to keep me engaged throughout the album.
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