Italy has a surprisingly solid technical/brutal death metal scene.  Of course, there’s the more obvious  monsters like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour of Penance, but if you dig a little deeper and actually list bands like Antropofagus, Gory Blister, Illogicist, Vomit the Soul, Unconventional Disruption, Humangled, Psychofagist just to name a few, you start to realize how many good bands in the genre are Italian.

Well, Deepsend, as is often their mantra, are here to add another newcomer to that impressive list by way of the debut from Lombardy’s Synapses and with Expiation (another term for atonement or salvation) Synapses has found a nice little bridge between technical/brutal death metal and groove.

While plenty of the album’s material is a whirlwind of  straight up clinical blasts and squealing, modern technical death metal,  Synapses actually manage to deliver much of their material with a precise and deliberate sense of restraint where the percussive elements are often set on a steady but intense double bass lope no matter how chaotic the guitars are. Impressive opener “The Iron Stream” is a pretty good example of the bands style as it shifts between both standard, busily brutal tech death metal blasts and a hefty controlled lurch. Second track “No Ruin Left Behind” and third track “Rapture of Terror”  delivers the same combo as the band lock in to their deliberate sound early and often and I’m reminded just a little bit of a little less experimental/progressive and more intense version of Russia’s Stalwart (whose new album Manifest of Refusal, dropped around the same time as this) in their sense of stuttering, djent-y death metal.

“Assault on the Weak” features a little more emphasis on the blasting side but “Under the Vault of the Hands of God” has more unsettling grooves (and some fucking, jarring, shattering glass squeals)  into the blasts while “Tower of Flesh” is a mind melting balance of percussive savagery and rhythmic restraint. “Wearing Your Body” ends a more pure death number with a couple of minutes of utterly sick groove and ultimately that’s what this album is about as the likes of “Blood in My Dreams” and “Deformed Trunk” cement in the albums later stages; heaving, intense but steadily savage sense of blast injected groove led by drummer Ricardo Fenara. The album winds down with “The Curse of Extinction”  a slow burner that shows even more restraint  and pacing.

On the very minor downside, the production is a tad bit sterile and the vocals of Giovanni Canedoli are a bit bland,but nothing that subverts the excellent musicianship and controlled chaos on display on Expiation.




[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 24th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Kevin E.

    killer album. I picked this up a few months ago and I’m loving it. Have to check out stalwart. never heard of them

  2. Commented by: Guilliame

    I picked this up at Metalhits, 4.99 MP3 dl. It’s intense.

  3. Commented by: Guilliame

    Synapse is BADASS…ed! (?)

    Is Badassed a proper adjective?

    Synapse are Badasses!

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