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Review: Sindrome - Resurrection: The Complete Collection
Sindrome
Resurrection: The Complete Collection

Label: Century Media
Year released: 2011
Duration: 1:27:43
Tracks: 17
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: September 24, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating
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Resurrection: The Complete Collection

Rated 5/5 (100%) (5 Votes)
Review


Sindrome were one of the biggest names in the underground to come out of the Chicago scene in the late '80s, famously headlining shows for Death and Whiplash and releasing two demos that stood out with their professional quality and marketing. Despite all that, a flurry of line-up changes would ensure the band would never release a full-length album, and despite their sterling reputation, the memory of their legacy faded with time. Despite many offers, the band spent years refusing to let their work be officially re-released for fear of financially damaging smaller labels with the cost of such an endeavor. Enter Century Media, who had more than enough heft to cash in on Sindrome's underground appeal, and that gives us this 2-disc compilation of one of the greatest Thrash bands that died before their time.

The first disc is a combination of the band's two demos, Into the Halls of Extermination and Vault of Inner Consciousness, with the originally unreleased track "Brought to the End" added in for good measure. Sindrome managed the incredible act of making Thrash as brutal and heavy as it could get without crossing over into Death Metal in any way, and even today both these demos would eat most so-called Thrash bands for breakfast. They wrote pummeling, energetic songs with fistfuls of skull-crushing riffs that fall over one another and sound as good played slow and heavy as they do fast and face-ripping. This is all held together with the muscular, syncopated singing of Troy Dixler, who sounds like the mutant missing link between Max Cavalera and General Diabolical Slaughter. In fact, I'd argue such Chicago legends as Usurper and Lair of the Minotaur owe a lot of their sound to Sindrome. I'd say the material from Vault is a little better, as it's faster and a bit more intricate (it's also the only concept album demo I know of), but both releases are excellent, and songs like "Cathedral of Ice" and "Descending into Madness" as good as Thrash can ever get.

The second disc is a live recording of the first show they headlined for Death's Scream Bloody Gore tour. The liner notes claim this is technically a bootleg that they got a hold of, and based on how the sound is so muffled that outside of the crowd interactions with Tony it's near inaudible, I believe it. It gets a bit better as the show goes on (presumably due to the recorder in question moving closer to the stage), and it's juuussst good enough to make out the songs they play that never got recorded ("Surround the Prisoner" and "Psychic Warfare" respectively), which sound like they'd kill as hard as any of their other songs with a decent production job. I can't really say that this is a great listen, but it's an important slice of Metal history that I'm glad got included in the package. Speaking of, the booklet contains some testimonials from prominent figures in the underground and even a lengthy interview with Toby on the band's history. It maybe could have done with another round of proofreading, but it's an enlightening read on how the band rose and fell, nonetheless.

There are plenty of bands from the '80s that only ever released a demo or two before calling it quits, but I don't think any of them had as much quality or notoriety as Sindrome. While we'll never know if a full-length from them would ever have lived up to their demos, we can rest easy knowing that their legacy can be passed on to a new generation of metalheads like myself. If you like Thrash in any way, you must get this compilation, as it showcases what could have been one of the greats of the underground if they lived a little longer. A legend well earned.

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