The Swedes…always so damn perfect aren’t they?! With their precision watches and awesome chocolate it often seems there is nothing that they can do wrong and just to make you feel even more jealous of them, along come Despite with their latest album ‘Synergi’ and blow most other metal bands out of the water!
With 13 tracks over 52 minutes Despite have delivered a hard hitting slab of an album with a surprising amount of variety along its course. Opener ‘Soul = Denied’ pummels the listener from the start with a mixture of metal, hardcore and even industrial elements in a way similar to Heart of a Coward or Dienamic and using a great range of vocal styles from the off whilst ‘As You Bleed’ which swiftly follows, uses a similar formula at its open but sweeps into a majestic chorus which reminded me of Spineshank back in their heyday!
‘The Perpetual Weakness’ starts off slower with a disjointed industrial feel with a great blend of harsh and clean vocals before opening into a spacious and heartfelt chorus this leads us into ‘Triage’ a well placed interlude showcasing the dynamics are capable of. ‘Time Lapse’ differs again in style, its clean throughout with the perfect radio chorus, I can see this being a DJ’s favourite!
‘Chaos Trigger’ leads us back to the raw side of the band, although heavily laden with keys it spits anger and energy during its shouted verse and chorus sections to a haunting finish. ‘Give Me Life’ is a sledgehammer of a song, another taken from their EPic EP of 2013 yet sounding as fresh as ever here as is ‘Sanctum Falls’. Title track ‘Synergi’ is lightning paced, flitting between speed metal and slower industrial feels similar to Fear Factory but with a more modern sound.
Next up is ‘Praedonum’ which builds well and has a delicious groove two thirds of the way in! ‘Unexceptional’ follows and rips through the listener before releasing another huge chorus on us which repeats before a bizarre eastern sounding mid section. ‘Square Zero’ slows the pace again before the album ends with old favourite ‘Awakening’, one of my favourite Despite tunes! …and finally you can relax, before hitting play again!
‘Synergi’ is a fantastic album full of energy, great musicianship and lovingly written songs. It has enough variety and is perfectly paced to keep the listeners attention over its length whilst still managing to leave you wanting just one more. If I had to criticise at all the only thing I could state is that if you have the EPic EP already then you already have a third of the album but they still sound as fresh here as they ever did and complement the album well! If these guys don’t become huge soon then I don’t know whats going on with the world of metal!
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