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The Syne - 'Boundaries Of Hope' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/83/79/cd/2768_thesyneboundariesofhope_1348502365.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 24, 2012    
 
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An enjoyable and reasonably individual release.

Fast becoming one the real hotbeds of progressive music, Italy throws up another band who are taking progressive themes and twisting them into a familiar, although thankfully not copycat sound. Having previously worked with various members of Jethro Tull and Van Der Graaf Generator, it comes as no surprise that the quartet who make up The Syne, singer Eric Concas, guitarist and songwriter Fabio “Faz” Marchisio, bassist Andrew Cosmick (who is no longer with the band) and drummer Sergio Ponti, are musicians of the highest order. Crucially however “Faz” has put together a fine collection of varied, yet cohesive songs that knit together to form a fine full length debut album that manages to cover a variety of musical bases. At times some of the meatier riffs on ‘Boundaries Of Hope’ verge into almost progressive metal territory, but more in the manner with which they bite and snarl, rather than feeling the need to constantly twist and turn while shouting “look at me!!”. 

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That said the emphasis is on variety, with ‘Hurting Worlds’ riffing in a way that will appeal to The Pineapple Thief devotees, before segueing into an acoustic breakdown that heralds in a plaintive piano section via another burst of electric guitar. Vocally Concas possesses a sharp gritty rasp that lends itself to the harder edged material with ease, although the smoother tracks ‘Slow Me Down’ and ‘Another Day’ rather disturbingly remind of the sort of tripe that James Blunt might knock out when he has a spare thirty seconds to write another heart wrenching (gut wrenching more like!) “meisterwork”. Thankfully those two songs are the only clunkers in sight with the sharp ‘Brand New Breathe’ again bringing The Pineapple Thief, or even Porcupine Tree to mind, whereas the dreamier sections of ‘Hurting Words’ has a more Mangrove like flavour to it. Not content with writing the songs and playing guitar, “Faz” also adds backing vocals and “programming” to the party, with synth strings and atmospheric washes adding colour to more muscular guitar led songs, while providing texture to the more laid back ‘No Use In Wonders’ and ‘Boundaries Of Hope’. Both of which prove that The Syne can turn their hand to less abrasive material without always veering too far into sickly mainstream.

Having won both the technical and fan votes at the 2011 “Rock Festival Cuorgne”, a high profile Italian battle of the bands type thing, it comes as a real surprise that The Syne haven’t managed to attract a label to help them get their way above average progressive music into the public domain. Therefore credit is due for the album’s shimmering, clear production, and that it comes with a beautiful booklet and smart, eye catching cover - clear signs of the care and attention that have been given to the whole package. Pop over to the usual digital specialists, or CD Baby, to hear clips and invest in an enjoyable and reasonably individual release.

Steven Reid

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