Synlakross – Malice Murder (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 31st October 2018
Rating: 8.5/10

Two years removed from their previous effort, Death Bullets for a Forajido, Synlakross return with their characteristic take on a bounty of different melodic and aggressive styles with their third full-length, Malice Murder. Looking this time of concept of damned souls making a contract with the Devil to carry out vengeance, it’s clearly a darker album than their last one. That same ideology can be applied to the music as well.

Though it’s really tough to pinpoint exactly where Synlakross fall in the whole ‘subgenre’ game, the aspects that worked best for them last time have returned. Out in front is a melodic death metal level combination of aggression and melody. Some In Flames-esque inspired moments with some flashier Arch Enemy instrumentation keeps the band moving forward, but it’s far from their only tool. Occasionally inserting some more upbeat electronics, massive and heavy grooves (check out “Dark Seed”), and on Malice Murder, even bringing in some near nu-metal riffing at times (tastefully – no need to worry) and darker atmosphere to further up the ante. While there’s much to absorb, it’s catchy in tone, despite the more aggressive feel and immediately enjoyable. Vocalist Patricia Pons also seems to bring in more clean vocals, which happily avoid the more cliché-ridden areas that riddle the genre, instead using them as a tool to either contrast some darker moments or provide take the song to the next level (or both, as in the excellent “Siren’s Blood Curse”). She also increased the use of some ‘howls/shrieks’ this time, that add a distinctive and horror-esque vibe to some of the tracks (see “Bloody Waltz”).

Continuing to bring in a diverse array of influences and make something that is more than the sum of its parts, Malice Murder is the next step in Synlakross’ evolution. It’s got everything a modern metal or melodeath fan could want in terms of its punchy riffs and melodic touches. For what they are doing, all they need is the proper push to make an even bigger impact in the metal scene.

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