Just when I'm about to write off the prog/metal genre completely because it's virtually impossible to differentiate one band from the next - a new demo arrives giving me hope that some artists are willing to deviate from the Dream Theater clones and establish a voice of their own.
Synful Ira is a new symphonic gothic power metal band fronted by the phenomenal female vocalist Letizia Chiozzi. The band hails from the picturesque Emilia Romagua region of Italy.
Now don't get me wrong, Synful Ira haven't re-invented the prog/metal genre ... they still bash out loud crunchy power chords like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X, Stratovarius, and the other usual suspects, but the music on their 2012 debut album "Between Hope And Love" leans toward more heavily orchestrated arrangements, euphonic piano and acoustic guitar interludes, and catchy hook laden melodies. The band veers away from extensive dueling light speed arpeggios between guitar and keyboards, which may be great for the ego but gets pretty damn boring to the listener after a while.
Yet the musicians still have plenty of opportunities to display their nimble fingered virtuosity - but do so without overstaying their welcome.
Synful Ira honed their skills between 2007 and 2010 performing as a tribute band for Evanescence and Nightwish. But in 2010 the band turned their attention from performing copy material to writing and recording original music, and a demo CD "The Hard Reality" was the end result. This prompted the band to produce their first full-length album, and in April of 2011 set about recording "Between Hope And Fear".
The years performing the music of Evanescence and Nightwish paved the way for Synful Ira, as their style is greatly influenced by both Evanescence and Nightwish as well as similar female fronted metal bands like Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil.
Bombastic fury tempered with beauty and harmony best describes the music of Synful Ira.
"Between Hope And Fear" is a deeply personal story laying bare the raw emotions of a trouble soul in a disintegrating relationship and how the victim tries to exorcise his inner demons, reconstruct his life, and once again find happiness and romance. But in a strange quirk of fate once he finds new love, he is tempted into a similar act of betrayal as perpetrated against him, and must face his own inequities.
"Between Hope And Fear" is morality play which comes full circle. Each track represents a theme which propels the storyline: betrayal and lies, suspicion and jealousy, depression and determination, anger and revenge, fear, friendship, hope, inner peace, love and happiness, temptation, self-criticism and loneliness.
Members of the band include: Letizia Chiozzi (vocals), Fabio Balducci (guitars), Laura Balducci (guitars), Emanuele Chiozzi (bass), Fillppo Martignano (keyboards & samples), and Marco Renzi (drums). With additional choirs by Claudia "Klod" Saponi.
Great music with an even better message.
One of the better prog/metal bands to come my way in a while.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 3rd, 2014