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Synaesthesia - Synaesthesia CD (album) cover

SYNAESTHESIA

Synaesthesia

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 135 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This debut album really kill me at first spin!

Well ...yeeeeaaaahhh ...! Finally I got an album that really blew me away at first spin when I got it. Dunno what really happen with me actually as I have to be honest that in term of proggyness this one is not that prog actually and probably some of you might think this is like a straight music with no complexities. I don't blame you at all if you have that opinion. Me too .. I don't think I find some complicated segments from the composition written by a 20- year old young man under prog coaching by Mike Holmes of IQ. One thing for sure this album has become my regular play list the whole album in its entirety because I found something missing when I tried to spin only half-way through of the album. The thing is that the overall flow of the music is truly brilliant. I find the music is really me! It''s really my taste and nothing that I find weird at all from this album. Everything moves beautifully from start to end. I tend to give five stars actually because it's so marvelous in terms of composition especially the nice melody overall and each individual track melody. Things move wonderfully throughout the album and I am really hooked with it!

You might expect that this one is as powerful as Script for a Jester's Tear that also BLEW me away at first spin I got the album in 1983 and made me deeply seated comfortably numb for three hours playing the cassette that I had the first time because at that time CD was not available. As in Script you have the hard groove song laike He Knows You Know or the poserful Forgotten Sons, this one from Synaesthesia basically no song like that at all. It's not that rocky as Script but it is really killing me! And also this album is not something similar with IQ "Ever" with its hard pounding "Darkest Hour" as album opener, for example. However ...there are much similarity with IQ Ever especially there is track that has similar tempo like "Further Away" even though the changing tempo is not that drastic as Ever.

Time, Tension & Intervention is a wonderful album opener and really made me blew away at first listen as I do enjoy the energy as well as the inventive keyboard work throughout the song that is considered as epic as it consumes a 22 minute duration. What amazes me is the stream of music that flows wonderfully taking the lead vocal well supported by combined performance of instruments played. The bass-playing sounds dynamic throughout the epic while the drumming is also wonderful. I do not really understand what really make me enjoyed with the music as actually it sounds just simple. In fact the solo is not as you might expect similar with Rick wakeman or guitar playing like Steve Howe. It's just so wonderful. I keep playing it many time withouth a sense of getting bored with the music. I's really a great opener!

Sacrifice starts off with a simple drumming with nothing special in terms of the virtuosity - it's just a regular drumming and probably some of you might say something special at all - it's just a sound of drumming. But for me this short opening brings what next is a very good music stream that flows wonderfully. Yes, there are music riffs but they are not something like progressive metal at all. the guitar and keyboard work are also mixed thinly and nothing is dominating one to another. The audio production is really neat and flawless. In terms of proggyness, nothing that I can show it demonstratively to you ... It's basically a simple song with upbeat tempo and wonderful groove. And .. I love the vocal line and the melody he brings with the song. It's really a wonderful song! The bass guitar and drumming are also excellent!

Noumenon stars nicely with simple yen inventive keyboard - synthesizer work augmented with bass guitar. The music then flows nicely in relatively slower tempo than the second track. Now the guitar playing really remind me to IQ even though not as raw as IQ. But the key is actually how the keyboard plays its inventive tones along the way with great combination of guitar fills. Oh man .... this third track is also really great! Even though there are some segments that might remind you to IQ but I don't see any melody or bits of it coming out from IQ music at all. It's really a very nice short instrumental.

Epiphany starts off with a musical riff combining bass, guitar, keyboard and drums. The music then goes into a bit of complex segments before it finally lands into a relax mode music that reminds me to the kind of RPWL or Floydian waves. The vocal line is really excellent especially backed up by the waving keyboard work at back ground. There are great moments during vocal line especially when it is augmented by mellotron-like sound that later brings the music into an upbeat tempo with faster speed. WOW!!! What a great tempo changes around this area! And hey ...the band provides you with a short complex segment for a transition to another slow tempo part. Oh man ... wonderful!!!! And ...the guitar solo is stunning, my friend ...... And now you enjoy the Floydian guitar work at the last part of the song.

Good Riddance sounds like a straight rocker but it's backed with a melotron-like sound that suddenly has a break with only drumming work and followed with distanced singing style. Oh what a nice opening part this song has! the music then flows like a Floydian music with hard pounding drumming work. I like the drum sounds really. I usually play this part with high volume at amplifier because it's very satisfying ....!!! I like the ending part of this short track especially with guitar solo and singing style and tight basslines.

Technology Killed The Kids starts with something that sounds like a computer game followed with fast tempo drum beats combined beautifully with keyboard and guitar in relatively fast and upbeat tempo with many breaks and some complexities. The song then takes guitar as lead melody with some breaks indicating the computer games. This short instrumental is really GREAT!

Life's What You Make Of It concludes the album nicely with an ambient opening and vocal line that flows beautifully...there is nothing to rearrange ....as the vocal says at the opening part. the music then flows in crescendo with keyboard work followed with a bluesy guitar work. This might be considered the most poppy compared to previous tracks. Yes it has high points as well but the key thing is that this song sounds like summarizing what the band has presented with its previous six wonderful tracks plus this excellent concluding track.

Conclusion

It's a beautifully-crafted debut album that produces great composition of music in the vein of neo prog combined with modern alternative music but not so much derailed from the prog category as the essential element of the melody has proved successful in making the album cohesive as a whole. Fans of Pallas, Pendragon, Arena, IQ ora Triangle (Dutch) will enjoy very much this album. Yes, I remember Triangle "Square The Circle" has similarity in terms of sub-genre with this debut album. Overall, I would give 4.5 stars for this one even though I tend to give a five star rating, actually. Let time goes by and I might change to five stars later. Keep on proggin' ...!

This album might be the best example of neo-prog music today!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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