Review Summary: Mutiny Within has constructed a solid sophomore offering, but doesn't correct the mistakes of their self-titled debut.
At midnight on January 12th, 2013, I sat awake in my bed, constantly refreshing my page, eager to download Mutiny Within's new album. I discovered the band's self-titled debut well after their split with Roadrunner Records and still hold it in high regards; it's a great example of what melodic metal can be (think DragonForce, but serious instead of hokey). So when the boys from Edison, New Jersey announced they were coming back together to release a second album on their own, expectations were high.
Synchronicity delivers on all of the same aspects that made Mutiny Within (2010) a killer album. The same attack on the guitars is prevalent, as is the use of keys. The band has a knack for writing monstrous hooks, building a sense of epicness in the chorus of each song, enforced furthermore by the vocals of English singer Chris Clancy.
But it’s this knack that ultimately makes Synchronicity stumble. Instead of listening to a band progress with their musical skills the album treads over covered ground, resting on the laurels already established on their self-titled debut. Nearly every song follows some variation of the following: an uplifting intro followed by verses of thrashy guitars, double bass fills, and raunchy screams, a chorus that builds on the musicality of the intro with prominent keys and a soaring vocal hook, some sort of bridge followed by a skillful but unmemorable guitar solo, and an outro. If this weren’t enough to raise an eyebrow, the songs of Synchronicity suffer the banality of ranging between 3 and 4 minutes, and confine themselves to a 4/4 time signature.
As a result, the individual tracks blend together after multiple listens, the same problem I had with Mutiny Within (2010).
With this in mind, it’s important to mention that the twelve tracks that make up Synchronicity weren’t entirely written specifically for this release. Most, if not all of these songs were leftovers from their debut. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s a practice common among bands, and who can blame them? Mutiny Within have had a tough past few years after being released from their Roadrunner contract. Along with the departure of Chris Clancy (who has since returned) and keyboardist Drew Stavola (who has not) and the indefinite hiatus that followed, it’s a miracle they’ve released more material to the metal community. And fans are definitely thankful to be getting another earful.
Synchronicity is a solid album, but it only falters in showcasing the band’s lack of progression. But since these are old songs, one can only ponder what effect a future third album of newly written material could induce.
In My Veins
Life to Dust