Music Reviews

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Artist: Synthetic Hope (@)
Title: Distortion of Thought
Format: CD
Time for a bit of self evaluation here.For those reading this who may not know,Synthetic Hope is the product of my own personal musical meanderings.Just me and some half rate equipment, but I'm pleased with what I get out of what I have.The thing that strikes me upon listening is that i did actually mangage to capture a bit of a flow despite the songs here being written and recorded sparadically at points between mid-2000 and early 2002."Struck down"is a good choice for an opener.If nothing else that screech at the beginning cannot help but grab one's attention.The song's "spazzy" start, stop, build, start structure and glitchy synth parts and samples set the tone well for the rest of the album."Kill the trace" is probably the most "basic rock" thing on here.That being said it also features easily the best guitar work. I remember trying to add elements to make it more "electro" sounding , but it really just took away from what was there."Wrekk" builds nicely from its "computer in space" sample to a nice chaotic stomp.The album's "Ministry-isms" are then left behind for its decidedly guitar free middle portion."Jilted" to me, has always seemed to fit in the least with the rest of my work. It's not something I've ever really been able to place either, it just seems a little "bouncier" than the rest.It is however, one of the catchier songs I've done.Once it gets going "a clearing of the head" has some nice low buzzing synth lines over its understated beats.One of the few times that I've really gone with the whole less is more minimalist approach, and I'm pleased with the results."The eyes inside your mind" has always been one of the ones that I'm proudest of.Probably the most electric sounding thing on here, as far as cultivating a soundscape goes I'm not sure if I've ever done a better job (yet).Not to say that it isn't one of the catchier tunes here."When the ground burns away" steps it back up a notch with its heavy jungle drums and warped fake scratched melody.The guitars return to bring the song to it's climax."Spasm" marks a last ditch return to the albums thrashier front end before the album takes the dark turn.It's easily the song that frustrates me the most.No matter what amount of fucking around with the levels I did the whole drum/guitar balance would just never come out right and as it stands the guitar won. Like i said before from there the album darkens quite a bit."The calm within the storm" is a keyboard concated dive that has always felt somewhat aquatic to me.The synth lines just kind of swim around each other like electric eels in a swamp."Dream?" continues the water fixation with its prominant dripping sample.This is the first song written here, a kind of dark love song ala Skinny Puppy's "cult", and is the only to contain vocals.This is the one that I really have to go back and re-record someday.Theres a lot of potential in that song, but i was just starting to figure out how to record various things at the time and the result leaves something to be desired.After a two song absence drums return to bring the album to a close with "virus".This is as close to live Synthetic Hope that it gets for now as i recorded the whole thing in one take with no real altering.Just played the keyboard along with the drum loop.I find it to be a suitably ominous sounding way to close out the album.Like I said before,as a whole it manages to gel better than i ever could have hoped for.One thing that does bother me however is the great volume descrepency between some of the songs.For instance "the eyes inside your mind" seems to be about twice the volume as the preceding "a clearing of the head". Everything said and done I am quite proud of this album despite its flaws, and even if no one else on the planet cares for it i will remain so.

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