Sydonia
Given To Destroyers


4.5
superb

Review

by Billy USER (32 Reviews)
February 4th, 2010 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sydonia possess everything it takes to ‘make it,’ all they need is someone to take notice.

The story goes that one toasty Australian afternoon, American metal band Lamb of God pay a mid tour stop over to Melbourne’s Rare Records. Playing on the store's stereo at the time was Sydonia’s ‘Given to Destroyers’, upon hearing it, every member of the band demanded to know who’s record was playing and subsequently each purchasing a copy. Fast forward a year or two and Sydonia have supported both Lamb of God and Slipknot all through Australia and Stone Sour around America. Not bad for a little band from Melbourne. Despite this, and consistently selling out their own gigs all around Australia, both radio and record companies have mysteriously all but ignored Sydonia. Listening to the quality of their debut album ‘Given to Destroyers’ only further ads to the oddity.

Sydonia play a percussion heavy brand of alternative rock that ventures into heavy metal, pop rock and prog throughout the duration of the album, at times even in the one song. While being original in terms of song writing, ‘Given to Destroyers’ will almost definitely draw comparisons to the Deftones. This is particularly relevant to the guitar tones used by Sam Haycroft and Dana Roskvist (see ‘Adornment’ and ‘Sorry’). This does not however detract from the songs themselves as they come together very well sonically.

Big, operatic vocals are somewhat of a recurring theme in Australian rock at present (think Ian Kenny and Kim Benzie) and Sydonia is no different. Front man Dana Roskvist has quite the set of pipes on him, ranging from atmospheric highs on the poppy ‘No Woman’s Land’ to the low growls on ‘Rubber Bullet.’ However, opener and album highlight ‘Adornment’ is where Roskvist gives the listener a true indication of his talent. Backed only by Bailey’s tribal drumming and a few light guitar strums, Roskvist’s soaring vocals of the opening verses give the track a real epic feel before descending into a heavier, more straight forward ending.

Sydonia are well known around the traps for their huge percussion sound, particularly in the heavier moments, held up by drummer Sean Bailey, a man who is throwing up a strong challenge to Cog’s Lucius Borich for the title of the best drummers in the country. Tracks such as ‘Incoming’ and ‘3 Tongues’, while not being the heaviest songs in the truest sense of the word, genuinely come off as monstrous due to Bailey’s drumming paired with Adam Murray’s bass.

More often than not Sydonia’s melding of various rock styles works, however there are, albeit only a couple, some filler moments to be found on the record. The meandering ‘Life in a Cup’, while still a decent song in its own right, is missing the little kick that some of the better tracks on the record possess (see ‘Dream Kiss’ and ‘Sorry’). Whilst ‘Incoming’ has a small amount of cheese associated with it. In the grand scheme of things though, these gripes are only minor, especially considering the bucket loads of potential this band possesses.

Lengthier songs are something most bands tend to struggle with, particularly in maintaining the listener’s interest for the duration of the song. Sydonia don’t quite fall into that trap with their lengthier numbers being some of the album’s better tracks. In particular, it is the brilliantly mellow ‘Lonely Soul’ that shows the bands worth when it comes to longer songs, much akin to the Karnivool classic ‘New Day’. On the other end of the spectrum, the also lengthy ‘3 Tongues’ shows of the band’s metal chops with Roskvist moving from clean vocals to growls in a flash. This combined with the ridiculously strong rhythm section of Bailey and Murray makes for quite the punishing song.

‘Given to Destroyers’ shows Sydonia have everything it takes to be one of the bigger bands in Australia. They’re catchy enough for the alt rock fans (ie. ‘No Woman’s Land’), they’re different enough for the indie kids (see ‘Lonely Soul’) and they’re heavy enough for the metal crowd, especially on ‘Rubber Bullet’. All they need is someone other than their heavily dedicated fans and the odd rock star to take notice. One can only hope that when their follow up album arrives later this year, people will just take notice. God knows Sydonia deserve it.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

myspace.com/sydonia

Go listen.

Mordecai.
February 4th 2010


8282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album dude, and a great review. I shall rate this a 4.

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, i was tossing up between a 4 and 4.5. Decided to be nice since they're playing a free gig soon at Fed Square.

And thanks dude :D

Mordecai.
February 4th 2010


8282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice. I wish I lived in Melbourne =(

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it's good provided you're not Indian.

Mordecai.
February 4th 2010


8282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

zing

Piglet
February 4th 2010


4663 Comments


oh wow this looks exactly like my kind of thing

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep, you'd enjoy this i reckon.

Piglet
February 4th 2010


4663 Comments


it has Tool as 'Similar Bands' of course I'd like this

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, they're a lil like tool. Mainly in the rhythm section.

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fark. I posted this now expecting a Twelve Foot Ninja thread 2.0 and have instead gotten stuff all.

Powerban
February 4th 2010


2380 Comments


I need to talk about the weather maybe? I seen these guys at The Arena once, I think they opened for Stone Sour. My friend still has one of their drumsticks I think.

I'll check out how they sound on album.

Powerban
February 4th 2010


2380 Comments


Just realized I owned this album once upon a time and I enjoyed it. Don't know where it got to though.

BassDemon333
February 4th 2010


3414 Comments


I listened to "3 Tounges" on their Myspace and thought it was good. Maybe I should check out the rest of the album...

Eclectic
February 4th 2010


3302 Comments


Great review Billy, I expect the lack of attention they've received is due to them being booed when Slipknot came around.
My mate went to the Sydney concert and said they were drowned out by the cries of "machine-fucking-head, machine-fucking-head"

Vooligan
February 4th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks kiddies. Feel free to throw a pos' or two around :P

Jim
February 4th 2010


5110 Comments


have a pos'

i like what i heard of these guys. so many aussie bands to check out it's stupid.

Vooligan
February 5th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can always count on you, Jim!

Yeah, it's getting a bit ridiculous. I'm trying to get through all the back catalogues before all the follow ups are released this year...

Mordecai.
February 5th 2010


8282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woah shit I meant to pos sorry.

Vooligan
February 5th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol thanks Tom.



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