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Review: Symphorce - Sinctuary

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 59:19
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 2/5

Review online: July 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (12 Votes)

I mean, seriously, just look at the lame pun in that title. There's no way this could've been good. Musically, Symphorce are a waste of breathing space from which nothing of any value can be extracted, and the fact that this album is better than the other one I heard, the woeful Become Death...well, it says a lot for my peace at night to know that the band were not always that bad. Yes, apparently the band that would one day become a justification for God abandoning humanity once played a relatively bland and unambitious form of modernized Power Metal that I still find pretty much inexcusable. Come on, there wasn't anything else you could have listened to? This is like a fifth rate Angel Dust clone, for fuck's sake; get some perspective!

Let's just get this out of the way. Barely any good riffs, generic song structures, over-long songs. They've got this terrible "modern" sounding production that just makes everything on here sound worse. The choruses on here sound ridiculous, and while I really should be able to like them, being the Power Metal whore that I am, I don't; they sound silly and overdone to the point where they don't carry any power at all. The guitars aren't doing anything interesting, the bass isn't doing anything interesting, and the drums aren't...okay, you get the idea: these songs are completely carried by choruses so overblown, cheesy and poppy that honestly could not be any worse, I am dead serious. You don't have to make every single chorus a sing-along anthem, you know! There are other things you can do with your song structures! The melodies sound like fucking childrens' choir melodies most of the time, it's just pitiful. And how the vocals are at the very front of the mix, drowning out everything else?

...You know what, I can see why people don't like Power Metal now, listening to this. I never thought I'd say that, but there it is. Let's just get this shit over with: "Eye of Horus" is perhaps the band's most deceitful moment, convincing everyone that they can actually write a good song, with a very entertaining and powerful chorus that I bet Andy Franck held over from his much better project Brainstorm. There are a lot of very bland songs before we reach "Burning Star," which has the unique ailment of sounding...well, more fruity than a bowl of fruit loops. Just listen to that terrible laser gun effect they blended in there with the lifeless guitar thunking; it's impossible to take that seriously! It's still not quite as bad, though, as "Insight," which is as insipid and shallow as a Power Metal song can be. That chorus is unbearable, and the guitars reach an all time nadir of creativity. Gee, it's so bad it almost makes me wish I was listening to a Nevermore album.

Okay, okay, not every song is that bad. "Reveal the Secrets" actually busts out some nice riffs, and the Powermad cover "Nice Dreams" is probably the best written song on this album. Things pretty much tank after that, though; "Soulfly"...generic ballad; traditional German "soft-heavy" transitioning that gets old when you do is as lamely as these guys do. "Resting Places" is just bland and "Freedom" is another suckfest that succumbs to the same Power Metal cliches that tore a hole in the genre in the middle of this decade. I also love how they title the very last song "Gone Too Far," because it just sums up my opinion about this so well it hurts.

This is crap. There are a few songs on this album that point to it being otherwise, but don't be fooled. The songwriting is terrible, the ideas are terrible and everything about this is just godawfully, unceremoniously fucking terrible. I should have learned my lesson the last time I listened to something by these clowns, but no, apparently not. You know what they say, though: Fooled me once, shame on you; fooled me twice...shame on me. And indeed, shame on me.

Other related information on the site
Review: Become Death (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Become Death (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: PhorcefulAhead (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Unrestricted (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Unrestricted (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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