The Parasite Syndicate – The Parasite Syndicate
Running Time 42:08
Review by Rick Tilley
When this album appeared on my review list I was immediately interested, not only because I had seen a video for one of the tracks at the end of 2016 and was really impressed with what I was hearing and seeing, but also because their vocalist Rich Donohoe has been a contestant on the most recent series of Masterchef: The Professionals where he reached the last eight of the competition. This is one seriously talented individual. However, as I write this, Rich has taken up a life changing opportunity to run his own restaurant in Cape Town and has had to step down from his position within the band. I wish him and his family all the very best with this endeavour and The Parasite Syndicate will forge ahead with a new singer, but he has left an indelible mark on the music scene because this self-titled debut album is a cracker!
Formed only a year ago The Parasite Syndicate have come a long way in a very short space of time and offer the listener something pretty rare these days, a new sound! They have beautifully melded a variety of metal genres, including Death, Melodic, Industrial and Nu, into something that really makes you sit up and listen. Now you should know by now that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of screamed vocals UNLESS the music behind the voice stands out. Rich may be a screamer but he does have a variety of deliveries (including a great clean voice) and the melodic nature, huge power and eerie nature of the music actually makes this a perfect match!
Robin Frazer and Joe Sammakia’s guitar work is absolutely fabulous as trip hammer riffs combine with beautiful melodic passages and solos to counterpoint the vocals. Bassist Bret Richards delivers a huge bottom end that accents the right parts at just the right time and Stuart Dunlop’s drums are immense with his double bass playing being particularly worthy of a mention. Together they have crafted eight hugely catchy compositions but ones which can also be very unsettling. When you add in lyrical content as diverse as space and time, love and conspiracy theory along with a production and mix that sounds much more expensive than it probably was then it really does put the icing on the proverbial cake (no pun intended Rich)!
The Parasite Syndicate have also come up totally trumps with the person they chose for visuals. Their logo, cover artwork and videos have been made and designed by Andy Pilkington at Very Metal Art and as far as I’m concerned there is currently no better man for the job! Andy has perfectly captured the essence of what The Parasite Syndicate are all about and has delivered a hugely professional package. Put everything together and you’ve got a sound and look that is way beyond what a band should be able to achieve in just 11 months together.
I’m not going to mention individual tracks because every one of them is a winner and they should be discovered without pre-conceived ideas. All I’m going to say is this is one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in a long while and The Parasite Syndicate are definitely going to become a name on the lips of many people in the coming weeks, months and years…on one condition and that is they find a really good replacement for Rich because he has left big shoes to fill. If they get that right then there will be no looking back!
1. Breathe You In
2. All That We Have
3. Red Sky
8. The Illusionist
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