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Sinestesia - "The Day After Flower" (CD)

Sinestesia - "The Day After Flower" CD cover image

"The Day After Flower" track listing:

1. Hero
2. Feast
3. The Birth, The Death, Trance By The River
4. Burning Times (Never Forget)
5. Violet
6. C.W.A. Prelude (Instrumental)
7. Cold War Apocalypse
8. Twilight
9. Memento

Reviewed by on April 3, 2010

"I wouldn't just recommend that metal fans pick up Sinestesia's 'The Day After Flower.' I'd recommend it to anyone who loves music — period."

Blending the sounds of '70s acts like Rush and Yes with the pop sensibilities of U2, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters with the technical expertise of Dragonforce and adding an appealing dose of heavy metal thunder to all of that, Sinestesia is the rare band that tries to be all things to all listeners — and succeeds in doing it — on "The Day After Flower." Simply put, this is one of the best metal albums I've heard all year.

The opener, "Hero," starts with a guitar lick reminiscent of early U2, courtesy of Roberto De Micheli. Then, suddenly, we're in what seems like a keyboard-laden Iron Maiden song, before quieting down as Ricky De Vito quietly croons the first verse. Not to worry, though, during the choruses, he belts the lyrics out in true Bruce Dickinson fashion.

"Feast" begins with a Foo Fighters-ish riff and enters Coldplay territory before turning into vintage '70s-style prog-rock. I guarantee you'll be singing with the catchy chorus. It's the rare metal song meant to be delivered with an ear-to-ear grin at just how great life is — and the Rick Wakeman-esque keyboard solo by Alberto Bravin is the icing on the cake.

Those who like their songs long and full of twists and turns will delight in tunes like "The Birth, The Death, Trance By The River," "Cold War Apocalypse" and "Twilight," all of which clock in at more than eight minutes long. It's to the band's credit that none of the songs — particularly the 10-minute "The Birth, The Death, Trance By The River" — lose focus.

Want something heavy as hell? "Burning Times (Never Forget)" features sludgy guitar, lyrics about the devil, witch trials and "black hooded masses," and symphonic keyboards that only add to the heaviness.

Instrumentally speaking, the high point of the album is the lush "C.W.A. Prelude," which gives drummer Paolo Marchesich a chance to cut loose, along with Bravin and De Micheli. Bassist Alessandro Sala gets a little more prevalence on the following track, "Cold War Apocalypse," though his presence is strongly felt in every song.

After delivering eight songs in English, De Vito sings in his native Italian on the closer, the mostly acoustic "Memento," and delivers his best vocals on an album full of great ones.

There's a coherence to this album that's been lacking in a lot of recent metal releases, in that not a single song feels extraneous or out of place. Put simply, it wouldn't change a thing about this record.

I wouldn't just recommend that metal fans pick up Sinestesia's "The Day After Flower." I'd recommend it to anyone who loves music — period.

Highs: "Hero," "Feast" and "Burning Times."

Lows: None to speak of.

Bottom line: A superb progressive metal album that blends modern sounds with those of the genre's 1970s beginnings.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)