Recorded and mastered at the Sin-Syn Studio Antwerp, Belgium|
- Dub Statement [24:06]
- Echoing Heights [12:40]
- The Dream Within [11:06]
- Out of the Dark [21:18]
- Out of Nowhere [25:10]
- Sines [8:24]
- They're watching over us [14:15]
- Rianna [22:50]
All music composed, played and arranged by Syndromeda
This is a double CD of epic proportions containing the most mature but also intense compositions from Syndromeda to date.
The sequence at the start of 'Dub Statement' is both rather delicate and extremely beautiful, like a very gentle rain falling from an otherwise sunny sky. The first lead line however is deep and moody and in complete contrast to the second which is laser sharp, flashing over the top. It's a wonderful start to the album. In seemingly no time at all I find myself approaching the ten-minute mark. Another lovely lead comes in then pow- enter the rhythms! We hurtle forwards then at seventeen minutes pause for a few seconds to catch our breath then it's foot full down on the accelerator again. Wow! Things calm down with four minutes to go as we float on soft blissful drones. Though there are hints that we are about to take off again things remain calm until the end.
'Echoing Heights' initially retains the tranquil atmosphere with the sound of running water and waves; dark drones however give a slightly ominous feeling. A slow sequence starts up with mellotron in the background. It's all rather haunting and ethereal then in comes another simply superb lead line. An additional sequence makes an entrance as yet another dose of sonic brilliance is cooked up. Euphoric pads swell in the background. More fantastic leads reach straight for the heart. Some echoing spoken text can just be heard but not understood, giving a rather sinister twist to finish.
'The Dream Within' begins with a ringing metallic drone. Other rather spooky pads are added. A slow lead line full of menace mixes with almost funeral drum type rhythms. This is a track which simply drips atmosphere.
'Out of the Dark' takes us to the depths of space. Cold drones hang in the air then fade into the distance. Again some faint talking can be heard amongst solar winds, like echoes of the long dead. No word can be heard but it still puts a chill up the spine. A very deep and only just audible reverberating drone can just be heard in the sixth minute. By the seventh it has increased in volume accompanied by little echoing, tinkling, runs of notes acting like phantoms being here one minute and gone the next. More cosmic winds come in along with distorted chatter swamping everything. Lead lines keep trying to establish themselves amongst the brooding malevolent backdrop but it isn't until eight minutes to go when the darkness is put to flight by a roller coaster of a sequence with plentiful attitude that the melodies can again take centre stage, soaring with wonderful cascades of notes to end proceedings on a more optimistic and oomph driven high. Another winner!
The second disc starts with 'Out of Nowhere', initially the most seriously spaced out section on the whole album. Cosmic winds mix with ethereal and crystalline pads. Floating ambient music doesn't get any better than this. Cut out all external stimuli, withdraw inside your brain and let the music take you where it will. Later on flute and very delicate percussive effects join the existing palette of sounds. By the half way mark a celestial organ is also included emphasising the feeling of the immensity and awesome power of the cosmos. Soon after that we are brought out of our reverie as a slow rhythm makes an entrance. It is as if we are picking up speed as the gravity of our final destination takes a hold. Sequences are then added combining perfectly with some seriously nice flute sounds.
Things are still mid paced however, gently waking us from our previous state. In the twentieth minute a more in ye face lead takes over but even so it is not too abrasive instead it just adds to the feeling of wonder taking us almost to the finish five minutes later.
'Sines' deploys the sequencer right from the first second; another is added combining beautifully with the first in a way that is exciting but not too brash. An understated rhythm and high-pitched lead line enter simultaneously. Another much more energetic drum line comes in a few seconds later and we storm forward, all thought of delicacy forgotten. The track continues to build with yet more sequences and devastating lead lines coming in. It's extremely exciting body moving stuff!
'They're Watching Over Us' begins with a sort of mechanical throb and dark drones. Again the feelings that came to mind were rather cosmic, like being on some vast craft travelling past strange worlds. Of course Syndromeda don't let us just float around forever as we are brought down to Earth with the introduction of a sequence in the ninth minute. More sequences are added but it's the delicate lead lines which got my attention most- simply exquisite.
'Rianna' is probably the most beautiful track Syndromeda have ever composed. We get a simple piano melody with long sustain. It stands almost in isolation, with just the most delicate of synth colouring. Next we hear some lovely angelic female vocal text (not in English), not too high in the mix, to which a male voice replies.
From this gentle beginning with Tolkienish overtones a sequence starts up. It very gradually becomes more menacing as if we are gearing up for some sort of battle. Laser fire in the fifteenth minute is joined by additional rhythm as we enter the maelstrom. A wonderful lead line comes in soon after like a rallying call. The sequence becomes much more bass laden and brooding. Vocoded vocals can be heard but not understood then everything subsides and we are left, to finish, with the stunning piano melody with which we started.
This double CD is the latest from Syndromeda, which [or whom] I think is based in Belgium - not sure if this is a single artist or a group, but it is nice to think that Belgium is famous for something other than 'Herge's Adventures of Tin Tin' and Hercule Peirot!
Creatures From The Inner acts as something like a masterclass in electronic music, the eight tracks adroitly covering many moods and styles of EM.
The opening track of CD1, Dub Statement, is a slow burning (24 minutes!) and broody piece of work, full of cyclical sequences, jaunty loops and plenty of bleeps and bloops before the rhythm sequences crash in and turn it into something much more muscular.
Echoing Heights begins with what sounds like rolling waves followed by a series of ominous sounding pads and a lone melody line - it's all very symbolic of a man on a clifftop looking out to the stormy ocean (or perhaps looking up at the stars) and waiting... certainly got an air of mystery around it.
Track three, The Dream Within, starts with some glacial ringing tones and spacey-sounding sequences, so its cosmic adventure time. Martial drum loops boom in and take over. Very much in your face!
Out Of The Dark begins with a different set of slow cosmic tones that slowly build up into the howl of a storm, perhaps a little more interstellar this time. Around seven minutes in a series of low frequency sequences fade in (and out) repeatedly, bringing an impending sense of menace.
And that ends CD1, I think I'll leave you to discover CD2 for yourself... Creatures From The Inner won't appeal to the ears used to the more dance-orientated EM, this is much more atmospheric and adventurous. The music here is chilled out to the point of being arctic, the soundscape pictures pointing more to Solaris than Star Wars.