|Release Date||21 Dec 2018|
In the wake of numerous hiatuses and pain-in-the-ass lineup changes, the independent traditional metal outfit Syth has released another album of considerable quality. Their third full-length release, Road to Infinity, is a well-rounded and fun tribute to classic metal, with especially clear influences from Iron Maiden and Dio.
Guitarists Niall Russell and Baz Fitzsimmons produce many chugging riffs and clean solos and the soaring vocals of Dave Bisset pack a serious punch. Mark Connelly’s skillful drum fills and grooves add a certain sophistication to the music, which seems to be lacking in many classic metal bands. While the best songs are tucked into the tail end of the record, there is no lack of power from the first half.
The album kicks off with the title track, Road to Infinity: a straightforward and steady banger. It builds a solid foundation for the rest of the album, with a catchy chorus and a victorious guitar solo, and concludes with an impressive 25-second-long balls-out scream by Bisset.
The album takes its first turn at Where Valkyries Cry: a fairly monotonous nine-minute power ballad which leaves much to be desired until its final minutes. The next track, All is not Lost, however, more than makes up for the previous song with what is easily the most tasteful solo on the album.
There are two songs that deserve special mention on the album. The Liar’s Eyes will instantly get your blood flowing as it drives energetically until the end. The vigourous Seas of Madness carries on the momentum with a mighty, chopping intro and thrashing riffs. The pulled-back section is a nice layer to build upon intensely into the final breakdown and chorus.
Considerably more tense than the rest, the twelve-minute Demons of the Kirk marks the end of the album. While definitely not the peak of the album, the numerous tempo changes and variety of tone it contains make it an enjoyable ride. This track balances the highs and lows quite well and no one part seems to overshadow the rest. Less importantly, however, the demonic voice effect in the latter half had me cringing a bit. It fails to deliver the impact it intends.
Road to Infinity is definitely an album that every classic metal buff should add to their collection. Furthermore, Syth is one of the best classic metal bands I’ve encountered in a while. They break free of the shortcomings common in the genre; their melodies are relatively creative and there is great diversity among the tracks. The rhythm instruments manage to fill in the blanks with many well-timed fills without upsetting the balance of the band.
Despite the couple misses, Road to Infinity is a hit and exceeded my expectations.