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SINPHONIA 'Silence' EP - 91%

HarleyAtMetalReview, July 1st, 2005

After two successive releases for Lucretia Records (When The Tide Breaks and The Divine Disharmony), Denmark’s Sinphonia have gone it alone with their self-financed Silence EP. Female fronted, this quartet specializes in what would be considered an avantgarde and atmospheric progressive metal. Occasionally channeling somewhat gothic undertones, the band blend precise instrumentation with an overall haunting ambiance; if you could imagine a merger between bands like Amaran, Winds, and Control Denied, said visualization would certainly manifest enough of an understanding to what this trio of tracks is all about.

Pulling double duties in both Sinphonia and Chaoswave (who have just inked a deal with DVS Records), Henrik Rangstrup delivers an impressive fretboard performance. Letting on such influences as Jeff Loomis (Nevermore) in his thick grooving sections and fluid leads not unlike Symphony X’s Mike Romeo, Henrik is a versatile guitarist suitable for any band. Sure to draw comparisons to Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) and Richard Christy (Death), Dennis Buhl’s drum technique is staggeringly intricate, recalling some of his predecessors’ more memorable moments while creating his own amazing rhythms.

If the voice of Monika Pedersen rings an enchanting bell, it may be that you recognize it from her guest appearances on 11 Dreams, the latest venture from fellow countrymen Mercenary. Taking on a tone that resembles Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil and Anneke Van Giersbergen of The Gathering, Monika’s captivating voice is the balance that preserves elegance amid all of the energy.

With a boundless sense of melody and technicality, Sinphonia evoke memories of a previous self-released EP that I reviewed not too long ago, The Essence Of Infinity. While Sinphonia possess all the similar qualities that Of Infinity does, these Danish exports boast a far more refined and less repetitive sound than their stateside counterpart. Both bands are destined to make an impact on fans of this style, but I have a hunch that Sinphonia will emerge from the Silence and cross the finish line first.

Silence is a precursor to a much larger picture, and it goes without saying that this EP will attract both new fans as well as a substantial amount of label attention. With Chaoswave’s recent signing, there is no reason why Sinphonia should have any problems finding a new home. They could comfortably nest on the Napalm Records family tree, or even at the previously mentioned DVS Records for that matter. I expect Sinphonia will be a household name soon enough, showing a thing or two to the current leaders of this genre and the like.