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Syphilic > Behind Bars > Reviews
Syphilic - Behind Bars

Just gets better with age - 82%

Noktorn, June 4th, 2011

Well, Syphilic isn't planning on changing anytime soon, I suppose- every new release from the project is really just a matter of further refining the technical, brutal style of death metal that mastermind Brian Forgue has made his own. 'Behind Bars' is the third release from the project, and it vies with 'Symphony of Slit Throats' for the title of best yet. The compact, decisive EP that preceded this album definitely does have an immediate, visceral impact to it that's hard to deny, but 'Behind Bars' is yet another step forward for the project; Forgue is polishing his sound more and more with every album and getting closer to what I think is his theoretical ideal.

Syphilic's music tends to be very technical, fast, brutal, and cluttered, so it comes as some surprise to hear that Forgue has really added some breathing room to the songs on 'Behind Bars'. There's a lot more open, less explosive passages in this music, held together by slower tempos, more patient rhythms, and bombastic, dirgelike melodies, which really gives this album a dynamic edge that was missing on previous releases. That's not to say any of Syphilic's custom style of aggression is lost- far from it. Again drawing heavily from the Insidious Decrepancy handbook (though now perhaps even more technical than that project), 'Behind Bars' is loaded with the winding, speedy tremolo riffs, abrupt, technical bass fills, and, as always, the stomach-turning vocals of Forgue, now bolstered by an additional, more traditional death growl alongside the array of gurgles and snorts we know so well. There's just a bit more variation now; 'Behind Bars' is definitely a refined take on the previous EP, and it seems that Syphilic only gets better with age.

Looking back on 'Erotishock Therapy', it's pretty surprising how far Syphilic has come, considering how the differences from one release to another might seem unnoticeable outside of their greater context. Still, when you look at the discography as a whole, you can see that Syphilic's music has come a long way from its beginnings as basically an Insidious Decrepancy worship project. 'Behind Bars' might not have the immediate catchiness and jaw-dropping effect of 'Symphony of Slit Throats', but it has a subtle undercurrent of melody, composition, and refreshing variation that's often absent in brutal death metal of this style. Brutal death sickos across the world would of course want to investigate this, but I think this is the first Syphilic record I'd also recommend to fans of more traditional death metal styles- there's enough going on here to please a whole spectrum of listeners.

yet again, but better - 98%

beatsfromhell, March 20th, 2010

While some bands sold out with there early 2010 releases (*ahem* Arsis) Syphilic keeps its core elements: relentless, complex, obscure brutality taken to disgusting measures with humorous samples taken from various media sources. Despite sticking to original roots, progression is also very present with this record. Including but not limited to: adapting new vocal styles, more electrifying guitars, and more complex song structures in general. The only other way to experience this album would be to sodomize yourself with an electrical wire.

From the start the guitars sound better and more technical. But don’t worry, it’s not overly technical. There’s quite a few pinch harmonics at fast paces in the riffs that kind of give it that technical sound. There’s a much more defined sound that is far more chaotic sounding on this album. Still, the “take no prisoners” brutal death metal guitar playing style is still relevant on this album. The riffs in general are still recognizable as a prominent Syphilic release, just on the next level.

The border-line signature vocal style of Brian Forgue is of course still here. However, he has seemed to have expanded his vocals a bit. There’s a vocal style that is used in various places throughout this album that almost sounds like a traditional death metal growl, or as close to it as Syphilic will probably ever get. Regardless, the obscure and brutal vocals are here in all there glory. But once again, on the next level.

And what would a Syphilic release be without the samples? Possibly just another brick in the wall. This album starts off with a sample from Bad Santa, and the sample continues at the end of the album. A lot like the Lewis Black joke at the beginning and the end of Erotishock Therapy. Behind Bars uses numerous samples from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Yes, the FX original series is heard various times through out Behind Bars. These specific samples are lines from the T.V. show that discuss topics that are very relevant to this record, including: musical talent, unprotected sex, gutturals, and molestation. So in the end, it works out pretty well on this album.

If you love death metal and Metallica, then (possibly) you’re dream has come true. Behind Bars ends with a cover of Metallica’s Leper Messiah. But this is a cover done right. It is immediately recognizable as Leper Messiah, but much heavier. It generally sounds almost the same but in a death metal style.

If you like death metal and can handle sheer chaos, then buy Behind Bars. It doesn’t disappoint at all.