The debut album from Dutch band Synergy Protocol is certainly not an album comprised of disposable, mindless tracks. No, this is heavy, symphonic progressive rock with all the Gothic and Classical influences that this brings with it. ‘Odd To Get Even‘ is a collection of hard edged songs that sound like they are being played by a band with plenty of experience under their collective belts.
The musicianship on the album is absolutely top class; each and every band member an accomplished player and they are gifted with an equally strong lead vocalist in Laura Martinez, whose range is fantastic and always sounds effortless. The production on the album leaves space for all instruments to shine through, and they take every opportunity to do so.
As you would expect with a progressive rock band, the songs are all on the lengthy side with plenty of complex arrangements and time changes. This doesn’t have the effect of making it one dimensional, as tracks like ‘Just A Man’ prove. Just when I thought I had Synergy Protocol figured out they throw in dance beats and synths and make this one of the best tracks on the album.
‘Final Chaos’ isn’t too far behind it, sounding absolutely epic, with plenty of melody and quite a hook in it that really bites hard. ‘Puppet On A String’ is possibly the most commercial and easily accessible song on the album, all layered vocals, intricate guitars, and keyboards always just beneath the surface.
Overall this is an album that took quite a few spins to get me hooked and even then it was by playing it loud through speakers and dispensing with ear buds. I expect good things from this band if they continue to build on this strong album and continue in this vein. Think Dream Theater with helpings of Delain and Epica and this will give you a flavour of what to expect. Do yourself a favour and check Synergy Protocol out, you may well be pleasantly surprised.
1 In The Name Of
4 Just A Man
5 Flight From Terra
6 Final Chaos
7 Puppet On A String
8 Odd To Get Even
Laura Martinez – Vocals
Wim Smits – Bass
Maarten ‘Big M’ Heeringa – Guitar, Vocals
Mark Roelofs – Guitar, Vocals
Patrick van Mourik – Drums