SINOPHIA is a Serbian Heavy/Power Metal band, formed in 2008. Each member has acquired musical experience in other bands and it isn’t until early 2012 that work commences on a first release. This first release is a 5-track EP called “Blessed & Cursed”. And as it goes with young bands, it’s a self-release. “Blessed & Cursed” was recorded and mixed in 2 separate studios: Euton (Serbia, Novi Sad) and Headroom (Serbia, Backi Petrovac). The mixing and mastering of the song “Hallowed” was done in MCS Studio, Switzerland.
Other than that, SINOPHIA got to share the stage with ATLANTIDA (also from Serbia), Tim “Ripper” Owens and SANDSTONE, thanks to Extreme Metal Fest organizer and owner of Zlabog Promotions, Nikola Vukobratovic.
It begins with “Void Of Doom”, which offers galopping Heavy Metal. You can hear that this is a demo-recording, but it sounds very much alright. It makes the music more powerful, contrasting with the clean vocals. The drums, however, do sound compressed, but again, this isn’t really a problem on this release. There are signed bands out there where this issue is of bigger concern. Nice here is the melodic touch in the chorus, aiding the vocals to withstand the power of the rhythm guitar and drums. The solo moment is nice, but rough. What did surprise me, in a wtf? kind of way, was the last minute of the song: this is totally different from what preceded. The music is slower, it drags itself onwards and somehow you have the impression something will follow. But alas, there’s nothing left. Strange. Aside from this detail, this EP started well.
Next is the title track, “Blessed & Cursed”. This track starts with a lead, followed by IRON MAIDEN-influenced Heavy Metal. After that, the Metal marches onwards. Again the clean vocals contrast with the music. The band slows down a little in the chorus, where rough backing vocals give the song that extra touch. The transition with the verses afterwards occurs very smoothly. As expected, there’s also a solo moment, which is ok. And like the first song, this one as well suffers from a strange ending: all Metal stops and the piano (see SAVATAGE for similarities) takes over. I don’t understand what the intention was, but this kind of change feels like it’s been glued for the sake of having 1) an ending and/or 2) something that is classic to end with and will perhaps make it more special. Well, not really.
“Hallowed” is probably the best track on this EP. It’s a Power/Thrash Metal song with rough vocals and a melodic chorus. At some point you get twin leads in the spotlight, which is very nice, but where’s the bass? It’s in “Warscream”, a straight-forward Heavy Metal track, comparable to NIGHTMARE, that French Heavy/Power Metal band. The chorus has a hymnic feel. The singing is quite good, all the more because of the rough edge. Musically the focus lies on the rhythm parts. And I like it! Last but not least there’s the live version of “Blessed & Cursed”, which is ok, but sounds quite compressed.
So, new material from Serbia crosses the borders. This is another country whose Metal scene is unknown to me, which makes SINOPHIA the first Serbian band in my collection, so to speak. All in all, their tunes are nothing spectacular, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not good. On the contrary, this is very well done Power Metal. These guys are on the right track. As it’s a self-release, it’s best to contact the band for your copy.
- Void Of Doom
- Blessed & Cursed
- Blessed & Cursed (live)
Miodrag Fodora – vocals
Stefan Apatovic – guitar
Attila Lukacs – guitar
Nemanja Apatovic – bass
Uglješa Cubrilo – drums