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Synapse Misfire - Losing the War Against the Sands of Time

Synapse Misfire
Losing the War Against the Sand of Time
by Martin Knap at 17 April 2018, 8:57 AM

Synapses do misfire and it’s the cause of many neurological and psychiatric diseases, or so I‘ve read in Science Magazine when I googled the name of this Illinois band to find out what exactly their name is supposed to mean. In it’s ranks we find some seasoned musicians who were active in many bands before starting SYNAPSE MISFIRE. (They include some NS bands - someone alert Metal Sucks.) In March of this year they’ve released their first LP called "Losing the War Against the Sands of Time”, which in contrast to its name, which is quite long-winded, is short. Short to the point (7 song running for 24 minutes, the last song not even being a proper song but more of an outro) where one might question whether this can be even called an LP, considering that this is not your typical grind album that is 20 minutes long but has 25 songs on it. The lyrical themes are dark and misanthropic as hell, and the style of music can be described as a mix of black metal, grinder and thrash metal, which sounds like a lot of fun. So how did this album turn out?

"The Man Who Refused To Shake Hands” starts off as a fairly standard black metal song with MARDUK-esque blasting and a bit monotonous vocal delivery. In the latter part of the song a HC/grind riff and beat kick in, which is fun, but the song overall lacks development. "Dirge Of The Mistanthrope” and "Mental Microcosm” a pretty much pure black metal songs with some transitions and tempo changes, but the overall impression that they make on me is that I’m listening to MARDUK’s country cousin. Things get pretty grim with "Memoirs Of A Speed Freak”, at least lyrically. I’d really like to know what the inspiration is for this song, because I don’t assume that it’s the singer's autobiographical account. The idea of a right wing radical having problems with amphetamines is a sad irony. The song consists of one evil sounding sludgy riff, plus another in the chorus (if a couple of shouts can be called that). The song has a bridge where the guitarist makes an attempt to play some bluesy licks but fails miserably. "Purging My Hatred” is definitely one of the more grindy cuts on this album, but the only thing that gets my interest is the drummer’s performance. I like the MAYHEM-inspired opening riff for the title track. I would argue that it’s the best written track on this album. The last track "Loathe Thyself” is, as I’ve already mentioned, not a proper song but some kind of outro on which we hear voices whispering some disturbing stuff.

A good album has to have - musically speaking - a certain “ooph” to it, and that is precisely what I’m missing here - except for the drumming, which is pretty damn good. SYNAPSE MISFIRE have the energy and conviction and their music sounds “badass”, but the songs are just not well written and executed.

Songwriting: 3
Memorability: 3
Originality: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. The Man Who Refused to Shake Hands
2. Dirge of the Misanthrope
3. Mental Microcosm
4. Memoirs of a Speed Freak
5. Purging My Hatred
6. Losing the War Against the Sands of Time
7. Loathe Thyself
Lyndon Ehlers - Bass
Johnny Baker - Drums
Ross Mallie - Guitars
Thurisaz - Vocals
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions


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