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A concoction of melody and aggression... - 80%

stabwounds, April 17th, 2009

Syrach play doom metal which is influenced heavily by death metal and they add plenty of melody to their compositions. The most challenging part of playing Doom/Death is to keep the listener interested, as it is very easy to lose a listener's attention due to slow and monotonous riffs. Syrach have addressed this challenge with lot of tempo changes and acoustic melodies sandwiched between intense passages of death metal.

If you focus on carefully listening the first 5 minutes of this album, it forms the core of Syrach's composition. The first 5 minutes of 'Silent Seas' takes you on a somber roller coaster ride through slow tempos, faster passages, acoustic interludes, monstrous growls, sniveling guitars, dolorous violins and ethereal flute(yes!) All of which, they have continued to play for the next half an hour in cautiously dispersed proportions to attain equilibrium. 'Jaded Funeral' is one track which hogs in the the limelight of my memory. It starts with whining guitars which makes way to mournful violins, an intense passage follows with melodic acoustic guitars and keys lightening the atmosphere but just when you feel relaxed, the riffs are back accompanied by aggressive drumming to make you bang your head! 'Of Dragons tears' and 'Silence' are basically death metal tracks [With minimal doom influence] which end with female vocals. 'A centenarian odyssey' boasts of a beautiful flute and acoustic guitar intro, but continues to venture in and out of the firm death metal grip. The outro-'De Doedes Tjern'[which means 'The Lake of the Dead' in English] is full of death metal riffs with added layer of a small conversation [With a cawing crow]. It might take several spins for the listener to get accustomed to the tempo-changes but eventually this album will grow on you.

Some of the highlights of the album are - use of violins (which adds a melancholic halo to Syrach's gloomy crown) Decent bass lines scattered here and there, which are recorded proficiently. Some of the tracks have female vocals (which I felt were not necessary as they did not do much to enhance the feel of the album) What impresses me the most is the way Syrach have managed to effortlessly slip in and out of various phases of this album and its the transition between these phases which makes this journey a riveting listen.