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Review: Synestesia - Feeniks

Label: Kampas Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 38:12
Tracks: 10
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: March 18, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating

Rated 5/5 (100%) (3 Votes)

I must admit I was surprised when this came through my door, and by the heavens I was even more surprised when I popped it in the CD player. I haven't heard Melodic Death Metal done this well in a long time; in fact I haven't heard a debut this great in a while. These guys sing entirely in Finnish which could be a turn off for the more shallow listener. As a result I have no idea what these guys are saying, however a lot of the time I can't understand Death Metal singers who sing in English anyway. From the information I was sent with this CD, these guys have been playing together since 2002 and have released quite a few EPs and demos, so I wouldn't say these guys are new to the game, with seven years experience under their collective belts. Feeniks is as good a debut as you could possibly want to hear, and at just over 38 minutes and 10 tracks it leaves you begging for more. The production is fantastic, very professional sounding.

Having very much a sound of their own, Synestesia have already managed a feat many bands spend years to achieve. Take the sound of Sweden's Assailant on their album Nemesis Within, forged with Dark Tranquility's undeniably dark undertone, then add a dash of Amon Amarth, and finally mix in some almost folk-like guitar leads, and that's as good a description I come up with for Synestesia. Feeniks is a very easily digested album, with a short run time and the majority of their tracks remaining around the three minute mark. Vocalist Eero Kuusisto has an almighty roar, sounding very much like the Finnish equivalent of Johan Hegg. The tracks are all stellar examples of being something special, each standing tall on its own merit, be it from the beautiful guitar solo delivered in "Merituuli", the haunting chorus to "Minun hymyni kirkastaa kasvosi" - a stunning harmony between female vocals and spoken words. Again the female vocals surface in the brilliant "Päätös" and they are truly fantastic. Other stand outs include the Assailant-fashioned "Puhdas sattuma" and the six minute monster of an album closer "Tuli palakoon".

2009 is really shaping up to be a fantastic year for metal, and here we have the year's first great new-comer to the table. Well played and well thought out Melodic Death Metal with a myriad of influences is what Synestesia serve up with Feeniks. Don't let this little gem go unnoticed. A highly enjoyable affair from start to finish, I can wholeheartedly recommend this album to all metal fans. Bloody fantastic.

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