After being championed by critics and readers of this mag alike, rising proggers Synaesthesia nearly came to grief after their debut self-titled album. Now they’re back, and are stronger than ever, in the form of Kyros.
Vox Humana is the bold double-album with which they hope to turn past hype into a concrete fan base. Now a full band rather than a solo project for frontman Adam Warne, their arrangements have space for playfulness – witness muscular rocker Ego – as well as grandiosity, as on over-the-top New Paradigm. On the whole, the tracks will be familiar to fans of bands like Dream Theater and P-Tree, although there’s also an element of folk, too. The kitchen sink approach to genres does them great service; the only exception is the dubstep-style synth on Technology Killed The Kids II which fits uneasily and is the musical equivalent of breaking the fourth wall. Album highlights Cloudburst and Persistence of Perfection meanwhile carry some of Devin Townsend’s bombast, and soaring, Steve Vai-esque leads. Despite some minor missteps, Vox Humana is an excellent second album, offering a progression that will leave old fans wanting more, while giving new fans plenty to chew on.