Despite – Synergi (Review)

DespiteDespite are from Sweden and play modern metal. This is their third album.

This makes a good impression very early on. Despite play a kind of modern metal that takes from the Swedish melodic death metal scene of yore, as well as more modern and even some progressive/djent elements. Synergi is my first exposure to the band, and to my ears comes across as a mix of Darkane, In Flames, Fear Factory and Whitechapel.

With three guitarists, the music is nicely heavy and treads the line between simple bruisers and a more complex approach with ease. The songs can go from being heavy, to melodic, to exploratory at the drop of a hat.

This is well-written metal with a lot to commend it. The melodic parts are emotive, the heavy parts are crushing, and it’s clear the band can play. It’s all wrapped up in the kind of gleaming, professional production that this kind of thing needs, too.

Although anything of this ilk can easily sound done-to-death and stale, Despite manage to skilfully avoid this by virtue of good songwriting, a thorough metal core and a streamlined, modern veneer. The latter is due in no small part to the keyboards and their interplay with the guitars; something that manages to recall a Fear Factory influence, but without actually sounding like them, which is no mean feat.

Also; solos. Nice.

The fact that they have three guitarists simply opens up more avenues for Despite to explore than a lot of similar bands too, and unlike some other bands with three guitarists, the band use them quite well for the most part.

Synergi is surprisingly varied; within the restrictions of the sub-genre they operate in, Despite have made the most of the space they have to offer the listener a great deal of engaging content. The album is relatively long for this kind of music, (13 tracks, 52 minutes), so the fact that they have been able to accomplish this variety helps prevent the listener from losing attention.

I particularly like the vocalist as he has a lot of range and talent. Everything from growls, shouts, screams and cleans are used, and he even uses multiple styles of those, including different types of clean singing. The latter talent helps the songs differentiate themselves, especially when added to the relative diversity of the music.

Despite’s new album has impressed. It’s well-crafted, catchy, memorable and provides a strong fix of modern metal that manages to combine instant appeal with the longevity of a properly enjoyable metal album.

Highly recommended.

One thought on “Despite – Synergi (Review)”

  1. Nice review! Just heard the album now and was getting some ideas of what people thought about the album before I start review on my WordPress. Good album!

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