Syn Ze Şase Tri // Între două lumi
Rating: 2.0/5.0 —So loud that I couldn’t actually listen to the music
Label: Code 666
Release Dates: EU: 2011.04.01 | US: 06.07.2011
The audiophile in the age of digital mastering has some serious things to contend with. I mean, the amount of equipment out there and the ease of acquisition means that more and more people can do things themselves, but the quality isn’t always the best and CDs have gotten so loud that it’s often impossible to even listen to old records next to new records. For the uninitiated, this is called “The Loudness Wars,” or well, the movement to fight against this obsessive loudness is called this. There are some excellently instructive videos on YouTube showing it with Iron Maiden, if you’re interested. That note aside, when I received this Syn Ze Şase Tri record, I was looking forward to it. Transylvanian black metal really strikes me as pretty much the most evil possible thing ever and I figured that these guys couldn’t be bad! Right? RIGHT!?
Well, to be honest, it was very hard to tell whether or not they actually are a bad band. Because, you see, any enjoyment of this record that I could possibly has been drawn out by it being so loud that it peaks in my computer speakers. So everything on this record is so distorted on the top end that I have a lot of trouble making it out. What I heard, through the peaking, sounded like pretty serviceable, or even pretty darn good at times, black metal a la Dimmu Borgir or Troll. While Syn Ze Şase Tri is spawned from the same scene as Negura Bunget they share very little resemblance in style. Syn Ze Şase Tri is very classically oriented with beautiful, technical keyboard parts and orchestral arrangements.
The riffs, too, seem like they’re pretty solid and awesome. Despite having three tracks over 10 minutes, there seem to be very few points on this record that should really be boring, because the composition is very solid. Sure, it’s orchestral black metal, but it’s a lot more neo-classical than the Norwegian variety and I’ve not heard anyone do it quite in this way. This stand out on the epic track “Intre Doua Lumi. Transcendenta” and earlier on the disc as well on “A Vietii Roata.” But the whole record shows off what appears to be a very talented group of musicians doing something old in a remarkably hungry and exciting way.
Unfortunately, the production pissed all over this record. If I turn it down to the point where the peaking is only barely audible and therefore, less annoying, all I can hear is the clickity clickity of the replaced bass drums and the occasional keyboard solo or croaky black metal vocals screamed in Romanian. There are a lot of symbol crashes, too, that really stand out. Though at this volume the guitars are very far back in the mix and the bass is totally inaudible. If I turn it up so that I can hear all the different parts, then the distortion is so fucking loud that I can’t actually hear anything else and it drives me totally insane. I sit and listen to the crackling and get angrier and angrier and angrier.
So while I’m entirely certain that Între două lumi is a record that should break this band wide open with its excellent contents, I cannot in any, way, shape or form give you the recommendation to listen to or buy this record. Because, frankly it’s painful. This music gets destroyed by the desire to try to get this thing as loud as possible. I don’t know if this was a home mastering job, or if they just had an overenthusiastic, but bad, masterer, but this is painful. I hope that the guys from the band raise some hell, because no one is going to like their music if they bring it home and stick it into their CD player and it sounds like they’re listening to the whole thing through blown out speakers.
Production was better before because it didn’t ruin good music.