And so, with a palpable sense of relief from you all, no doubt, we enter the top 10 of my ‘Album of the Year 2013’ countdown. Thanks for sticking with me, I’m grateful to each and every reader. Without the constant support, this blog would have been dead and buried long ago. As a special treat, links to the previous ten posts can be found at the bottom of this post – please check them out if you haven’t already done so.
So, I can hear you practically chomping at the bit to find out who has made it into my ‘Album Of The Year 2013’ Top 10. Well, here goes…
Cynthesis is the creation of Jasun and Troy Tipton, the very same brothers who are behind the technical progressive metal band Zero Hour. ‘ReVolution’ is part two in a dystopian concept trilogy, begun a couple of years ago with ‘DeEvolution’. That first album garnered a lot of praise and critical acclaim. Rightly so, in my opinion and so it is with great delight that I’m able to say that ‘ReEvolution’ to these ears is even better.
In much the same way as ‘DeEvolution’ did, ‘ReEvolution’ attempts to combine some extremely technical and complex progressive metal with copious amounts of atmosphere and melody. If you happen to be familiar with artists’ other aforementioned band Zero Hour, you know that when this album is at its most progressive, you can expect some four and six-string gymnastics. Indeed the technicality and speed at certain points will make most musicians want to give up immediately.
However, I would argue that the main focus with Cynthesis is not mind-tangling complexity but creating atmosphere and feelings within the listener. It is here that this album delivers in spades. Layers of lush of keyboards, quietly picked guitars and a heartfelt vocal performance from Erik Rosvold all play a significant role in the overall sound and counterpoint the bursts of technicality to great effect.
And, to be honest, it is when the compositions are at their most basic and simple that the magic really comes through. Hopelessness, despair, oppression; these are all moods that are conveyed to mesmerising effect. And yet, for all its apparent bleakness, the melodies are so strong and memorable that they coax you back time and again for repeated listens that reward you every single time.
If emotional progressive metal sounds an appealing prospect, you have to give this album a try because if you don’t, you’ll regret it.
The ‘Album Of The Year 2013’ countdown so far…
Also, remember, you can still read my choices from 2012 too, if you follow this link.