Syndone’s music have grown on me. Since being blown away of their previous album which was based on both Beauty and the Beast and Homer’s Odyssey with their fifth release back in 2014 entitled, Odysseas, I’ve always wait to see what the band will come up with next. This year, they’ve released their sixth album on the Fading/AltrOck label entitled, Eros & Thanatos. Taken from the fifth book of the old testament of King Solomon, Syndone always bring interesting ideas for another concept album.
From Beauty and the Beast, The Odyssey, and now the Song of Songs, The six-piece bring back more of the adventures to give the listener more adventures that is waiting for them. And with help from two guest artists, Guitarist Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Flautist Ray Thomas (The Moody Blues), Syndone keeps the flaming torch burning for more of the forefront of Symphonic Rock and the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene that will make you close your imagine it’s 1974 all over again.
Opener, Frammento, you can hear the robotic vocalizations that vocalist Riccardo Ruggeri meld in the vocoder sound of an experimental approach. He melds in well and at times there are essence of Freddie Mercury in his sound before kicking into gear with Area 51 where keyboardist Nik Comoglio, drummer Martino Malacrida and bassist Maurino Delacqua create various and insane time signature level that goes into different locations that suddenly brings to mind Rush, Banco Del Mutuo Sorccorso, and Gentle Giant.
Track by track as the album grows bit by bit, you can see how much they have come and bring the string sections they will make you go through the depths and immersive boundaries they can both the sounds of Classical Music and Progressive Rock. From the homage to George Gershwin piano concerto and dramatic violin sections from the Puntorec String Orchestra on Gli Spiriti Dei Campi to the Brazilian bossa-nova intense rocking boundaries of Qinah, they have done their homework very well.
Then, they move toward the music of Greece that’s reminiscent of Aphrodite’s Child and Le Orme on the catchy acoustic synth groove, Fahra while Ray Thomas lends a helping hand on the Flute on the moody and evocative composition, L’urlo Nelle Ossa. Ray himself shows that he still has the magic and soul in which he brought from his time with The Moody Blues and here with his appearance on a Syndone album, it’s almost a return to show that he still has the driving energetic force.
But with a little help alongside Ray, Steve Hackett brings the Genesis touch into the variations on the closing track, Sotto Un Cielo Di Fuoco. Syndone and Hackett themselves bring the energy and ascending climbing melodies as Steve just gives me chills every time his guitar goes through various emotions that is virtuoso and orchestral that will make you close your eyes and imagine the sounds of New Trolls Concerto Grosso Per I.
More of the ideas that would come into Nik’s head is where he wants Syndone to go into next and where he wants the band to move in various areas. And here, it’s an excellent return and follow-up of another chapter of the band development. This isn’t just about Nik, he’s also a helper and a collaborator by helping out the members on the compositions that are on the album itself.
All in all, Syndone’s Eros & Thanatos, is one of those albums that I will keep on playing forever and ever until the end of time and it almost sounds like to me that they could use this as a live performance done in the style of the 1974-75 tour of Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by using a slide show and telling the story of Solomon. Let’s cross our fingers and see where they might go with this.