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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Syndromeda The Rise of the Darkness (2011)

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Weaved in the complexities of Syndromeda's works The Rise of the Darkness is a great album...

1 Time Traveller (8:18)

2 CFG 3205 (8:00)

3 Botox (10:47)

4 Premonition (13:38)

5 What (6:36)

6 Relations (5:09)

7 And Dark It Shall Be (10:23)

8 The Bright Side of the Moon (with Papajeahja) (6:44)

(CD-R/DDL 69:35) (V.F.)

(Prog and psy Berlin School style)

A sinuous synth line to extraterrestrial tones coils some fine and crystal clear drummed sequences. It frees a thick cloud of ramifications and threatening reverberations on the floating rhythm of Time Traveller which rushes into a dome stuffed of polymorphic synth layers. Short solos emerge. They float and enlace on this motionless rhythm of which limpid minimalist pulsations stagnate in a heavy atmosphere stigmatized by an invasion of lines and solos of synth with aromas as spectral as lunar. It’s in this dark and implosive atmosphere that THE RISE OF THE DARKNESS is evolving. This last Syndromeda opus respects the signature of the Belgian synthesist with a cosmic music to progressive and complex structures. Syndromeda weaves a dark and experimental album, moulded in the imprints of the 70’s Berlin School, with some fine melodious approach.

The intro of CFG 3205 is awakening with a slender twisted synth wave. Perfumed by a musicality which is quite near of Klaus Schulze’s floating moods, it converges on glaucous pulsations of which slight hops arouse roaming choirs. And it’s in an ambience tetanised by caustic synth breaths that the rhythm of CFG 3205 bustles about. It pounds finely, dropping a more melodious rhythmic line which gallops under breaths, choirs and floating solos of a synth of which the iridescent waves are perfumed by Picture Music aromas. Coming out of boiling cosmic larva, Botox is stormier. Heavy and resonant sequences skip and zigzag, forging a rhythm of which the oscillations are gulped down by curt and hatched synth riffs which also infuses smooth whistled solos. The rhythm permutes subtly, passing of waving to waddling and to ambient in a whirlwind of sequences which flow on a maladjusted gravity roller conveyor. One would believe to hear Chris Franke. Premonition is one of the highlights of this album and a beautiful vestige of the 70’s progressive EM. The intro draws a climate of auditive paranoia with threatening synth light beams which revolve and scrutinize a somber musical horizon where breaths of wandering choirs get lost in the black rustles of outer world voices. This slow magma of sound larvas is shaken by nervous sequences which manhandle the black idleness and establish a rhythm growing with drummed and crisscrossed strikings. After a brief ambient passage, the rhythm takes back its slow floating procession under virulent solos of which the curves are bursting of a shrill guitar tone. It’s a great track which deserves to be heard through headphones.

What clashes of this chthonian atmosphere with a bewitching carousel of gleaming arpeggios which turns in the whisper of poetic choirs. A bass line comes out and structures a fine serpentine approach which slender and filamentous synth solos beautify of a beautiful and twinkling meditative approach. Wrapped with an aura printed of mysticism, Relations swirls and floats in a divine ethereal mood. Fine sequences come into sight. They are crystal clear and pound with innocence in a sound fauna stocked with floating choirs and heterogeneous tones. They draw an ambient spiral of which the rotations, sometimes slow and sometimes more alive, are soaked by fine solos of a synth with colors of nightingales. And Dark It Shall Be is another highlight in THE RISE OF THE DARKNESS. The intro releases a synth breath which sighs among pulsations and roaring of abyssal machinery. A synth line comes out. It floats and waves lazily towards lugubrious tom-toms of a tribe of extraterrestrial elf. The rhythm is hypnotic, the choirs are magnetic and their union is smouldering in heavy droning as well as in the metallic rustlings of Machiavellian streaks which overhang the heavy and slow rhythm of this title as black as the borders of intersidereal spaces. It’s great and intriguing. It hides out a strange bewitchment which can comes from tom-toms, chthonian choirs, reverberating synth waves or lines which sing and whisper a strange mephistophelic melody. The album ends in the oneiric vapours and meditative waves of The Bright Side of the Moon. As its naming indicates it, we get a more ethereal and less dark music where the charming voice of Papajeahja pours as a brook of serenity under fine sequences with delicate oscillations and delicious heart-rending solos. A rhythm of which the slow charismatic procession walks on furious tribal percussions, bringing The Bright Side of the Moon towards a solid frenzied tempo where synth solos roar in subtle and terrific orchestral arrangements.

Weaved in the complexities inherent to the tenebrous works of the Belgian synthesist, THE RISE OF THE DARKNESS is a great album which commands some listening to tame it well. But this doesn’t mean that we have to work hard to like it. On the contrary! Between its floating and evolutionary rhythms, its atmospheres as chthonian as cosmic and its synths to tones as caustic as oniric fed with solos as incisive as meditative this album offers a rich musical variety which leaves its tracks as soon as the first listening. Except that when we sit down with headphones on ears and glance fixing a space filled by rhythms and atmospheres coming from distant galaxies, we savour all the depth of this stunning new album from Syndromeda.

Sylvain Lupari (December 1st, 2013) ****¼*

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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