SYNKRONIZITY - Cultivation

Cultivation FORMAT: CD
REALEASE DATE: 22.05.2012
RECORD COMPANY: Achoymusic Group

Top 2012: #277
Synkronizity more
Tony Choy - bas
Santiago Dobles - chitara
Matt Thompson - tobe
Grant Petty - voce
Arbise Gonzalez - clape

01. Moment of Confusion02. Best I Am03. Latin Breeze04. Tight Rope05. Follower06. Intent07. Sinchronicity

Do you like Atheist? How about Aghora? King Diamond? Or even…Pit Bull? Well, 4 of the 5 members of the “supergroup” Synkronizity belong to these bands. This is Tony Choy’s metal project (bass; Atheist, ex-Pestilence, ex-Cynic) together with his friends, all important musicians: Santiago Dobles – guitar (Aghora), Matt Thompson - drums (King Diamond), Arbise Gonzalez – keyboards (occasionally Pit Bull’s keyboard player ...everyone has bills to pay, isn’t it?) and Grant Petty on vocals. 


Released in early 2012, this debut album suffered from rather poor promotion due to Tony Choy’s busy schedule - he was even nominated for a Grammy – including diverse activities, from the cooperation with Atheist for the next album, to writing jingles for Nickelodeon! Things moved with difficulty and it seems that the idea to start this project had been on Tony Choy’s mind for a few years, and was one of the reasons for which he left Atheist before the release of Jupiter. 


The album has a total of 7 songs. This is that kind of album that makes you wish they were 100, and probably it wouldn’t have been enough. This is a form of metal that is totally different from anything we have heard until now. To quote Tony Choy, „one moment you say it’s old-school Florida death metal like Nocturnus or Monstrosity... and the next you get the feeling that it’s Mike Patton with Faith No More!”. I’ll try to describe the songs briefly, one by one.


Moment of Confusion starts with a clattering of drums which immediately turns into a progressive latino beat a la Dream Theater, Adagio, Symphony X and Aghora. The death metal voice is not out of the ordinary, but it seems that the forte of vocalist Grant Petty is imitating Mike Patton’s voice, because when they get to the chorus it’s like it’s another song. Fortunately, the bass is sufficiently brought forward to show us why Tony Choy is one of the best and most creative bass players in extreme metal, and not only! Perhaps also because the album was produced, mixed and mastered by Tony Choy himself. We are also treated with an unmistakable solo of Santiago Dobles, with the same warm tone when it comes to sweeping. Short and to the point, this song provides a healthy dose of death metal, progressive metal and alternative rock! It will surely catch your attention from the very first song, and most likely will divide people into two categories: those who really enjoy what Synkronizity has to offer, and those who are unimpressed by the mixture of styles).


Best I Am... I haven’t heard such a beautiful and tranquil beginning for a song in a long while. Romantic jazz/fusion, personalised to Santiago Dobles’s performance style, and Arbise Gonzalez comes in with angelic chords to support the atmosphere. All instruments on the album are recorded in the most organic way possible, without triggers, without a zillion of overlaid effects to make it sound more distorted; while it’s metal, the instruments sound soothing and give a different heaviness to the muic, discovering beauty. The same theme from the beginning returns towards the end, this time with a jazz solo in the vein of Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock on the keyboards. A great example of ferocious progressive metal!


Latin Breeze was included on the one hand because of the success of the song Samba Brizza, written and performed by Tony Choy on Atheist’s album Elements (1993) but especially because Tony Choy is of Latino descent (as are Dobles and Arbise) and is as familiar with such superb parts as he is with metal. It seems unconnected with the rest of the album, but after a few listens it becomes clear that a piece like Latin Breeze is in fact at the very foundation of the Synkronizity concept.


Tight Rope starts with an odd bass line, after which it collapses into what seems to be an amalgam of Atheist (from the Elements era), Cancer or Incubus songs (well, after Opprobrium). Again, the drums are spot on and the keyboards give a feeling of movement, colouring the music the right way, occasionally drifting into passages that seem taken from a Dimmu Borgir track. The fact that Arbise Gonzalez does not belong to the metal world is obvious, but perhaps this is what gives the diversity that makes Synkronizity a breath of fresh air in metal. The structure of this song is very complex, but the riffs remain in memory after a few listens. 


I think the album should have started with Follower. This would have been a perfect start, with the keyboard fading in and growing wings in a few seconds, when the whole band starts to clamour and get carpal syndrome on the guitars. Among the strongest songs on the album, the most rich in clean passages, symphonic elements, Latino/flamenco, jazz, etc. 


Intent starts with a Faith No More throwback, or even a bit of Soil, and becomes more and more convoluted in rhythm. This brings out Matt Thompson’s drumming skills in the most obvious way, and probably few of us would have thought him capable of so much more than what he plays with King Diamond. On Intent, Thompson manages to keep a beat that seems to come from Atheist or Fates Warning and when the middle part comes, with the piano, he breaks out in an absolutely divine drum solo! Surely Matt Thompson will grow in the eyes - or rather the ears - of listeners after they hear this song, regardless of whether they like it or not. Again on the chorus we appreciate Tony Choy’s ability to write really captivating parts. Another catch slipping towards Faith No More gives more diversity (as if there wasn’t enough from the very first minute) but also cleanliness. This balance of growling voice and clean voice is very skilfully put into practice! Not to mention the superhuman solo. The final leaves the listener thinking with those oriental piano chords...


Even if Sinchronicity seems to be the weakest link on the album, I like the bands that christen a song after the band name, thus motivating the choice of the name. And this is also true in this context: the term is written correctly, not like a breakdance/hip-hop band from the 80s would write it.


The album is a teaser, and makes the listener curious of how the next material from the band would sound. It is clear that they have found a strong personality on this album, but will they continue with the same sound? It is unclear how long this project will last, but for the time being I declare myself satisfied with the first project run mainly by Tony Choy. This is a strong artistic statement that will raise a few brows, without a doubt. The album cover art is done by Eliran Kantor (Atheist, Anacrusis, Testament, Sodom, Virus, Mekong Delta, Aghora, Master, etc.) and the band’s manager is none other than Frank Watkins (ex-Obituary), an old friend of Tony Choy. For more details, go to

Matei T. more Nota: 9

Posted at 22:12 |  03 Martie 2013  | 0 Comments  | 4901 Views

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