Perception in relation to reality is a topic that has long sparked many debates and theories, one of which being the theory of “Phenomenalism”. For those unfamiliar with the topic, phenomenalism dictates that physical objects only exist as a result of perceptual phenomena. In layman’s terms, if there is no perception, there is no existence; your reality is built around your perception. Meaning that, in theory, there are as many perceptions of reality as there are humans (roughly 7 billion). Italian quartet Synodik graciously invites us into their perception of the reality in which we exist. Their sophomore release, A Matter Of Perception EP, provides us with a short commentary on an age-old topic through a combined medium of deep ambience and brooding riffs that burn with the wisdom of an aging star.
The album opens with “Projections From the Edge”, an eerie track featuring tumultuous, rising synth medleys that most closely mimic the sensation of zooming through a Carl Sagan video. Layers of cascading echoed synth melodies progressively build, flourishing with bright intensity before descending into darker, ambient depths, churning with a force parallel to the cosmos.
Following is “When Parallels Fall”, an explosive track marked by an amalgamation of heavy death metal elements and serene dark ambience. Bursts of energetic melodic riffs from guitarist Leandro Scotto and deep growls from vocalist Matteo Campanini immediately blast your ears with the profound force of a supernova. Harsh, violent riffs backed by driving and emphatic percussion by drummer Edoardo Delucchi suddenly halt for waves of emotive, airy licks and overlays before delving into crushing riffs and solos. Campanini waivers between gritty mid screams and deep growls, often utilizing split scream harmonies for lyrical emphasis and an overall raw and sincere vocal style of delivery. However, what really makes this track stand out is Scotto’s split between fiercely violent riffs and simplistic, gentle synth undertones. The result is a playful mixing and parallel placing of the perceived simplistic beauty of the universe with the raging complexities of a galaxy.
This short but vast EP ends with “The Perceived Wisdom”, a track laden with false endings and spastic transitions in instrumental style. Fast-paced heavy riffs collide and wrestle with melodic, atmospheric overlays, creating an emotional turbulence between the raw forces of the atmosphere and the peaceful serenity of the night sky. Within the mixture of mashing forces is the lightly playful groove of Gastaldi’s bass, which often shines through the competing layers of Scotto’s ambient licks and crushing chugging. Campanini alternates between clean vocals and deep growls, displaying the vast dynamic between perceived peacefulness and the true raw force that exists within each burning star.
Overall, Synodik provides a surprisingly in-depth, albeit short take on a topic that is as old as the universe itself.The dynamic, orchestrated collapse and expansion of the instrumentals can be as vibrant and daunting as a White Dwarf star. A Matter Of Perceptionis drenched with the introductory teachings of a vast, ancient knowledge that you can only begin to gain from watching the world turn for centuries- and it appears that Synodik is ready and eager to watch and learn more. A Matter Of Perception is a vastly reflective musical endeavor that gifts us aural windows from which to begin to explore the depths of our reality in relation to our existence. Ultimately, your view on this album- and the message that you take from it- depends on your perception of it. (Katt Hass)
For Fans Of: Fallujah, Opeth, Nile