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Sinoptik – The Calling Award winner

The Calling
by Mark Machlay at 07 September 2021, 6:54 AM

Ukrainian rock power trio SINOPTIK have returned with their latest album “The Calling” released on June 11, 3 years after their first. Since releasing their first album “16/58” in 2014 they have unfortunately been dealt an unfortunate hand due to the situation regarding the Ukraine’s independence from Russia. The group had to leave their homes, ending up in the capitol of Kiev, facing oppression and discrimination simply because of their hometown, being told they are different and constantly being blamed for the outbreak of the war. Fortunately, they adapted to their environment and learned to favor a strong DIY attitude. The band has already performed several concerts in their home country, even winning the “Best Band in the World” at the “Global Battle of the Bands” in 2016 in Berlin. It is however unfortunate timing that we are currently still in a worldwide pandemic, with the Delta variant of Covid-19 causing several national concerts to be cancelled or postponed.

SINOPTIK are undeterred and “The Calling” marks the fifth album for the prog-rock artists. The album was recorded and produced in the band’s own home studio by guitarist, keyboardist and singer Dmitriy Afanasiev. The band’s signature sound is a fusing together of 1970’s occult rock influence with huge AOR production and psychedelic prog soundscapes. Their sound conjures images of classic acts such as BLACK SABBATH, PINK FLOYD, and JIMI HENDRIX. In the same spirit the PINK FLOYD’s “The Wall” is a bit of a Roger Waters solo album, “The Calling” is a bit of a concept album for Afanasiev. He says, “For me the songs, as well as the title are like a reminder for every traveler, warrior, driver, doctor, or even parent … that when you leave, there is someone waiting for you when you get to where you are going. If you lose someone dear to you, remind yourself that they are waiting for you to catch up. That’s “The Calling”.”

SINOPTIK is another of those recent underrated progressive rock bands and once they again, they delight on “The Calling”. The group has come a long way from their debut and frontman Dmitriy Afanasiev has perfected that 70s to early 80s era prog production while injecting new and bold techniques from recent prog rock acts PAIN OF SALVATION, HAKEN and NEAL MORSE. Album opener “Le Monteur” actually brings up images of U2 with echoing, airy production but with much more swagger and gusto. But right after they launch into what could easily be an early BLACK SABBATH b-side with 70s fringed synth solos and majestical, soaring vocals on “Granny Greta”. Then on “Young and High”, it’s back to a typical Adam Clayton echoey guitar lick juxtaposed with a heavy chorus and synth-y solo section much like HAKEN employed on their obvious 80’s influenced song “1985”. Then there is the single “Black Soul Sun” that lingers more in doom metal mixed with space rock with heavy, almost hypnotic riffs and voluminous drumbeats. It’s refreshing to hear new takes on an old sound with insightful and thought-provoking lyrics. Hopefully this album can propel SINOPTIK to newer heights and more international attention.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Le Menteur
2. Granny Greta
3. Young and High
4. Inception
5. Apple Tree
6. Black Soul Man
7. Sell God’s Number
8. Absolution
9. The Call
Dmitriy Afanasiev - Guitar, Keys &Vocals
Ruslan Babayev – Drums & Backing Vocals
Aleksandr Savin – Bass & Backing Vocals
Record Label: ONErpm


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