Sympuls-E – Mirror City (Review)

Sympuls-ESympuls-E are a Russian melodic death metal band and this is their third album.

Apparently a rerecording of the band’s 2011 demo Зеркало Города, Mirror City is bright and shiny metal, but not without bite.

The material on Mirror City is symphonic melodic death metal. Think a band like Scar Symmetry for a starting point, but then add in some opulent extravagance and ostentation the likes of which Nightwish do so well on their more upbeat numbers. Finally, slather it all in a glitzy, ultra-polished professional production, and you’ll have a good idea of the Symuls-E sound.

With ever-present keyboards and plenty of catchy tunes, this is an album of streamlined metallic hits. The dual vocal approach to deep growls and melodic singing may have been done to death, but who cares when it’s pulled off as well as it is by Sumpuls-E? This is especially the case when you consider that other vocal styles also find their way into the songs here and there.

I really, really enjoyed this album. There’s just something infectious about it. The songs are well-written and enthusiastically played, and they just demand attention with their energy and vigour. Listening to this is like listening to a 39 minute adrenaline shot.

Yes, it’s easy to be jaded with music, especially something like this which operates in such a well-worn sub-genre, but there’s almost something innocent about Mirror City; the album seems to have captured a certain youthful sparkle that I associate with early European metal, only with an updated and modern sheen.

Maybe it’s just me, I dunno – all I know is that the material on this album has captured my heart like very few others playing this kind of thing have done of late, and it makes me feel like I did when I was just getting into this type of flashy aggression.

Uplifting, energising, and highly enjoyable. Please for the love of all that is shiny and melodic, give this album a listen. Mirror City is a real treat.

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