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Svengali - Sayonara

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 March 2020, 9:00 AM

Founded in 2013, and hailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, SVENGALI “believes music is more than just a collection of sounds… and a band is more than the five people on stage. To us, music is a medium we use to tell our stories. The people who join us along the way turn into our family, and this family is our driving force.” “Sayonara” contains nine tracks.

“Alcatraz” leads off the album, with a very heavy sound, almost like Deathcore. Clean vocals pop up in the chorus, unlike the aggressive Death Metal vocals in the verses. The cadence is steady…like SEPULTURA. “Break Away” opens with clean guitars and vocals, and a sad and melancholy tone. The heavy and aggressive tones come into play pretty quickly, and this sort of resembles Metalcore at this point. “This is Kombat” features a low and weighted sound that takes a turn after the first verse. The groove is more pronounced here, and a breakdown come into play following the second chorus. Eerie lead guitar notes lead the charge.

“Better Off” is a shorter song, opening with emotive clean vocals and clean guitars. “You’re better off” he croons. The soft nature of this song cuts against the previous tracks and is a nice surprise. “Freight Train” is as the title suggests, a fast moving song with ravenous vocals and a thick and heavy guitar, bass, and drums. It is relentless in its attack, not stopping for a second. “Sayonara” opens with a more mid-tempo groove, and those drums are very well done, holding down the bottom line for the band. He repeats the title of the song with fervor. “Quicksand” is a bit longer, but doesn’t lose that heavy edge. He sings the chorus “walking on quicksand” with clean vocals. It’s an odd combination that has been done many times before but the connectedness is lost a bit.

“Shedding Skin” is another heavy track that uses the verses in similar ways to the other tracks. I am guessing this band is still trying to find their way a bit. The groove is still maintained however. The ambient passage is well done, however. “Labyrinth” closes the album. A slow and weighted riff opens the song. They sure like things done in the key of E (open notes). In the sense of the Metalcore genre, they fit here fairly well…alternating between clean and Death vocals, though the Death vocal passages are more pronounced. But as I mentioned, the connectedness is not as smooth as some of the seasoned bands in the genre. I would say that the band just needs some more time together as a unit to find their sound.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Alcatraz
2. Break Away
3. This is Kombat
4. Better off
5. Freight Train
6. Sayonara
7. Quicksand
8. Shedding Skin
9. Labyrinth
Ali – Bass
Josh – Drums
JM – Guitars
Taifi – Guitars, Vocals
Adnan Mryhij – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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