Definitely – and defiantly – one of the most impressive acts to have taken to the New Blood Stage at this past summer’s Bloodstock, East Anglia’s SynaptiK have subsequently produced a debut album that is fervent, fresh and vibrant in equal measure.
Straddling, with consummate ease, the death, groove, progressive and thrash metal genres, ‘The Mechanisms Of Consequence’ combines the aggression of the likes of Lamb Of God and VoiVod with the progressive sensibilities of Dream Theater, Queensryche – vocalist John Knight possesses a range not dissimilar to that of a more baritone Geoff Tate – and Meshuggah and the power and speed of classic metal acts as diverse as Testament, Trivium, Iron Maiden and Hammerfall.
With such a diverse range of influences and markers, ‘The Consequences…’, er, consequently could run the danger of being a mish-mash of an album. But, totally the opposite is true, as this is a consummately confident offering. Pete Loades’ drums snap and snarl under Kev Jackson’s bass work, which is by turns subtle and punishing, as appropriate. Guitarists Ian Knight and Jack Murton work extremely well together, enunciating the overall sound of the songs and progressing them without needless showmanship, while JK’s vocals soar and sweep majestically over the magnificent musical landscape below them.
I don’t think the guys will fall out with me if I say that they’re no spring chickens: they are five experienced musicians who have put a lot of thought, and effort, into moulding the sound they want to produce… the result is one which, as mentioned, touches a lot of bases but at the same time puts down its own unique identifier, and results in one of the most impressive debut album which this reviewer has had the pleasure of hearing for a very, very long time.
There is a new wave of British heavy metal coming, featuring guys who actually know how to play their instruments, with both passion and prowess, and can write powerful, intelligent songs. SynaptiK could, and should, be riding on the top of this wave.
Truths That Wake / A Man Dies / I Am The Ghost (Intro) / Your Cold Dead Trace / Irresistable Shade / Vacancy Of Mind / As I Am, As I Was / Utopia In Our Eyes / All Lies (intro) / Allies. Bonus track: Your Cold Dead Trace (feat. Alan Tecchio).
Recommended listening: As I Am, As I Was