Morph - Sintrinity

(CD 2012, 41:31, Progress Records PRCD 052)

The tracks:
  1- A Breath Away(5:17)
  2- At The Crossrods(6:59)
  3- Reaching For You(4:40)
  4- Wake Up(6:51)
  5- The Final Bow(5:09)
  6- It Feels Like The End(6:13)
  7- The Journal(6:19)

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After the first listen to Sintrinity, the debut album of the Swedish band Morph, it was obvious why I had received this album to review. As far as music is concerned I haven an open mind for all kinds of music. However, the question is: does the music of Morph match the definition of progressive rock? Well, after reading the accompanying information it should, but my ears don't agree to what my eyes have read, and I guess I have to rely on my ears when it comes to the music.

Morph is a duo consisting of vocalist, guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Attila Bokor and his drumming friend Richard Sandström. They started in 2005 and it took them quite a while to find a sound with which they felt comfortable. Sintrinity is the result of their cooperation. Since it took so long to record a first album, you might think that the music will sound uniquely, and in a way it does. It's a mixture of soft alternative rock, pop rock and prog metal. While listening to Sintrinity, bands like Muse, The Calling and Lifehouse crossed my mind, but also Linkin Park without the rap parts, and Staind to a certain degree. These are not the best prog rock bands in my opinion, but all top-notch in their own genre. I guess Morph perfectly fits in between these bands when it comes to their musicality. If you like the aforementioned bands you should definitely listen to this CD and I'm sure you'll like it.

Sintrinity opens with A Breath Away containing very pop-like and altrock vocals with an occasional electric guitar. This song seems to be made for festivals. On At The Crossroads, the alternative rock atmosphere only strengthens that feeling, but suddenly a strange metal-like interlude appears, swiftly followed by dominant layered vocals. The more I got used to the vocals, the more I found Attila's voice attractive, although I really don't understand the combination of his soft vocals with the heavy guitars that appear every now and then. In Wake Up the music is a bit louder with pleasant guitar work; the singing is nice and softly creating a rather strange, but lovely atmosphere. The Final Bow reminds me of Outside, a successful song by Staind; in the beginning it sounds like Bother by Stone Sour, but soon the power increases and the song gently flows in the direction of a band like Lifehouse.

Weird and heavy guitars presenting the interesting start of It Feels Like The End, but after this promising beginning the vocals take over and then it gets a bit predictable. I tend to categorize this piece in the light alternative rock genre. The Journal, the final song, contains some influences of Porcupine Tree. It flows gently to the end without any spectacular climax, but it gave me a pleasant feeling anyway. Morph are not a specific progressive rock duo we normally review in Background Magazine, but if you broaden your outlook and if you're not allergic to pop-like elements and alternative rock, this is a perfect album. After a number of spins I even got the hang of this album. However, I still think this music is best suitable for people, particularly women or girls, in their teens or mid-twenties.

*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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