CRUNCH!! that’s the sound of Despite rupturing your ear drums as you hit the play button on their latest release from Eclipse Records, Synergi. Synergi is a metallic onslaught of driving riffs, snarled vocals and bowel-rupturing rhythms. Suffice to say, I dig!
The album starts with the pummeling Soul=Denied, a track featuring razor wire guitars, a chugging groove and a ferocious vocal. I’m strapped in and ready for my ears to be assaulted, possibly even damaged! As You Bleed doesn’t let up either. It has a great chorus and I struggled to get it out of my head for the rest of the day. It’s another strong track. The Perpetual Weakening is another meaty slab, one that features some nice guitar breaks and moments of melody to break up the violent barks of vocalist Peter Tuthill. The chorus is excellent and sees Tuthill crooning in front of some great musicianship. My favourite track thus far.
Triage begins slowly with some nice lead work and a constant drum pattern. The albums shortest track, also an instrumental, it allows the listener to take a breath before the oncoming rush of Time Lapse. As the album progresses, we are starting to see more melody creep into the songs, Time Lapse has an almost spoken verse and is the records most radio-friendly track so far. I like it a lot, whereas Chaos trigger sees Despite moving towards a slightly more prog metal direction. Tuthill rages on this track, but the song isn’t without its more reflective moments that feature melodies adding a real epic feel to the tune.
Give Me Life is an assault on the ears, a destructive and angry song, I like the positioning of the track on the album. It serves as a reminder that Despite can crush you like an ant at a moments notice. Sanctum Falls, album title track, Synergi, and Praedonum follow a similarly heavy path, but it is the track Unexceptional and follower Square Zero that really got my head moving.
Final song, Awakening, is a mighty fine way to bring things to a close. It is hugely infectious, heavy and tuneful, much like the album as a whole. Synergi really is a good record. Metal fans should jump on the Despite train right now before these guys explode. Synergi is heavy, melodic, varied and exciting to listen to. It sounds great thanks to a crisp mix and production and the performances of Tuthill and his band mates are top, top draw. Highly recommended.
4/5 stars from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.
Every now and then, you stumble upon a band that changes your perspective of things. One of these rare bands is Gothenburg, Sweden’s DESPITE. Like a hungry mantis ambushing its prey, the band’s unique style of modern metal music will grab your attention and never let go. Featuring three eight-string guitar players, this band is so heavy and down-tuned they make the Richter scale overload with their music. These guys are making metal interesting again, so listen up!
DESPITE was originally formed in 1998 by guitarist Timmy Leng as a side project. The band released a seven song EP entitled “In Your Despite” in 2009. They quickly followed up with their debut album “Clenched” which they released independently in 2010. In 2012 the band refocused, and the lineup changed to better suit a more aggressive, technical direction. After two years, the band emerged from their cocoon in early 2014 with the release of “Epic” – a beautifully brutal EP. Epic was exceptionally well received and garnered critical acclaim from the press and their growing international fan base. Later on the same year, DESPITE released “Chaos Trigger” a single that catapulted the band to new levels of notoriety, and as a result VH1.com named the band one of “fifteen metal bands you should be listening to”. On a high note, the band followed up in early 2015 with their latest single “Praedonum”, and donated a portion of the sales to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Shortly thereafter Despite caught the attention of Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, Bobaflex, A Breach of Silence), and re-entered the studio to record new material for the label’s consideration. Naturally, upon hearing the new material Eclipse signed the band in early 2016.
The new album, entitled “Synergi” was produced by Oscar Nilsson at Crehate Studios (Gothenburg, Sweden). Synergi features thirteen amazing songs where harsh sonic collisions convey a mature progressive means to an abrasive end. There’s no doubt the band has evolved since their last offering, and this evolution is only the beginning of the polyrhythmic soundscapes that Despite purvey so extremely well. Synergi was released worldwide by Eclipse Records on July 22, 2016.
Visit Eclipse Records for more great bands!