The Hard Word: Despite album offers musical ‘Synergi’
Your first clue that Despite are a prog/math metal band is the album cover which has an image of a brain and cogs turning inside.
Officialy classified as melodic death metal I found the album to be a lot more proggy than death metal.
If you like 'Fear Factory' or 'Meshuggah' you are going to find something in this album for you.
The clean vocals may be a surprise as they are more 'Soilwork' orientated than death metal but the electronic infused songs are grandiose as a result.
There is a lot more variability in the music than most electronic metal bands as a result of the slightly progressive infusions.
The funky bass on 'Triage' shows that this band is about dynamics and 'Triage' is a welcome interlude from the monstrous songs 'Soul=Denied' and 'As You Bleed'.
Production is solid and by the time you get to ballad-like 'Time Lapse', you are well aware of how the vocals and guitar interchange across huge emotive melodies that are reminiscent of the band 'Vast'.
'Chaos Trigger' is definitely one of the stand out tracks as it has those Swedish sounding 'In Flames' vocals, and operatic synths underlying a nice chunky syncopated riff structure.
What is interesting is the death metal element that comes through the title track 'Synergi'.
With the double kick pacing away underneath you can almost visualise the strobes at a live concert.
Vocalist Peter Tuthill moves between deep guttural growls, nu-metal edgy quips and soaring melodies.
It is an interesting mix and matches the complexity of the guitar and drums.
Everything about this album is aurally and visually pleasing - from the liner notes to the finest detail of the production.
Using three eight string guitars the entire performance is an exercise in heavy crushing down tuned bliss while the polyrhythmic soundscapes keep your mind working and your foot tapping.
The solo's are virtuoso in scale and are not too egotistical in scale or length.
The exact opposite of powerviolence this album is all about perfection, clear clarity and crystallised focus.
Despite was originally formed in 1998 by guitarist Timmy Leng as a side project.
The band released a seven song EP entitled "In Your Despite" in 2009.
They quickly followed up with their debut album "Clenched" which they released independently in 2010.
In 2012 the band refocused, and the lineup changed to better suit a more aggressive, technical
After two years, the band emerged from their cocoon in early 2014 with the release of "Epic" - a beautifully brutal EP.
Epic was exceptionally well received and garnered critical acclaim from the press and their growing international fan base.
Later on the same year, DESPITE released "Chaos Trigger" a single that catapulted the band to new levels of notoriety, and as a result VH1.com named the band one of "fifteen metal bands you should be listening to".
On a high note, the band followed up in early 2015 with their latest single "Praedonum", and donated a portion of the sales to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Shortly thereafter Despite caught the attention of Eclipse Records (Mushroomhead, Bobaflex, A Breach of Silence), and re-entered the studio to record new material for the label's consideration.
Naturally, upon hearing the new material Eclipse signed the band in early 2016.
The new album, entitled "Synergi" was produced by Oscar Nilsson at Crehate Studios (Gothenburg, Sweden).
To read more go to: http://www.northernstar.com.au/topic/the-hard-word/