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Excellent gothic power metal but weaker vocals - 80%

dweeb, August 30th, 2012

Synful Ira is a lightly symphonic gothic power metal band from Italy and this is their debut studio CD. Most of the songs are mid-paced, heavy and bombastic with clean guitar and keys driving the melodies. The melodies are generally memorable and engaging, sometimes lightly progressive in the guitar leads and sometimes quite surprisingly lush and warm; they are almost always performed against a rocking tapestry of crunchy rhythm guitar and heavy bass and drums, though there are a few beautiful acoustic interludes here and there. They occasionally speed things up, especially in drum runs, but for the most part the songs emphasize atmosphere and texture, which are all the more enhanced by the interplay of gentle acoustic keys and huge symphonic ones.

The first thing you notice about their singer, Letizia Chiozzi, is that she has an usually thick accent, which is introduced immediately in the first song by a brief spoken interlude. Her delivery is certainly strong, earnest and expressive, but her vocal melodies sometimes come across slightly forced due to her lack of confidence singing in English; that said, many of her melodies are quite lush and beautiful, and on about half the songs she features a more aggressive traditional metal style that fits her voice and accent very nicely. She has a fairly narrow alto range that she seems comfortable with and she rarely strays out of it, which clearly boosts her confidence and passion in singing in a second language.

‘Between Hope and Fear’ is an extremely promising debut because it’s getting harder and harder for power metal bands to distinguish themselves from the multitude of their compatriots; Synful Ira do this with their unusually varied, energetic, hooky and memorable melodies against seriously rocking and bombastic rhythms; with a bit more vocal expertise they could become top tier in their genre.

Originally reviewed at http://www.metalcdratings.com/