Review Summary: The bastard spawn of other bands comes together to prove that metalcore is a genre that is not in decay, but a genre that is very much alive, well, and ready to rip your balls off.
The Syncope Threshold is a band that very few people know of, which is a complete and total travesty. If you can, forget everything you know about metalcore, pop-punk, progressive rock, and hardcore. Now listen up. User Tw1ster made the observation that this band sounds like the bastard child of Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, and Coheed and Cambria, and for the most part, he is correct.
That being said, TST is a musical tour de force. They borrow elements from the above bands, along with the some All Shall Perish style screams, and a poppy singing voice. Using these elements, they have put out a debut album that is surprisingly good. To describe the sound is no easy feat, but to sum it up, take the musical technicality of Protest the Hero, the screaming vocals of Between the Buried and Me, the singing of Coheed and Cambria and Boys Like Girls, and the death growls of All Shall Perish. And on occasion, throw in the guitar wankery of Dragonforce, but imagine it done correctly
. All of these elements come together to roughly
describe "Tale of the Complex Circuit."
Every single track on this album brings something fresh and inventive to the table, and it never grows boring or stale. There are three prominent examples of this in the first three tracks, no less. You will be waiting in anticipation during the vaguely circus-esque "Introduction" for the real music to begin. Then the shockingly proficient and technical guitar riff that opens up "Definitive Behavior" is attention catching. Finally, as the beautiful singing that precedes the grating screaming on "Sunflower Avenue" bursts forth, its around this point that the realization hits: This is big.
The sheer fact that they have successfully melded the genres pop-punk and metalcore is an achievement in and of itself, but when one considers that this is truly new
music, the appeal of this takes on a whole new level. The sound here is unique, and it is impossible to cite another band that sounds like this. The guitars solo in, out, and around the fast drum work, which backs the raw, visceral screaming. Also present are some beautiful singing passages, and this is all underscored by some groovy bass. To say the least, there's a lot
going on here, but it comes together very cohesively.
The pair of I, Harlequin tracks, entitled "Exodus" and "Our Unfolding" are quite simply, perfection incarnate when it comes to metalcore. The first part is a hardcore powerhouse fronted by amazing vocal work that focuses on screaming, and the guitar solos are numerous and vaired. The latter part is a slower, albeit still frenetic song that showcases the clean singing. Closer "Alone In the Addict" is another pleaser, with some intriguing musicianship and dueling clean/screamed vocals. It closes out with a guitar flourish that will leave you utterly amazed at the eleven songs you just heard.
As an album that is so haphazard, all over the place, and frenzied, its nothing short of miraculous that the whole thing comes together splendidly. Other bands have attempted to blend genres like this, and most end up embarrassing themselves, a la A Day To Remember's newest album. the Syncope Threshold is new on the music scene, but with some exposure and time, they could be big. I recommend this to anyone who can appreciate good music, really. Try this, you shan't be disappointed.