Syncromind Project - Second

(CD 2014, 61:47, Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- Strong Principle(7:36)
  2- Somebody's Hero(8:21)
  3- Time Counselor(7:38)
  4- Mata Hari(6:43)
  5- Clarke's Laws(7:30)
  6- Under Water(6:45)
  7- On A Giant's Shoulder(10:01)
  8- Journey(7:11)

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Syncromind Project started when Italian guitarist Enzo Ferrara began a search in 2009 for matching musicians to play his music. During the search he repeatedly ran into Polish drummer Vito Lis and it seemed there were a lot of similarities in their way of approaching music and in their musical interests. This collaboration ended up in the recording of a true duo album in 2011; Syncronized; Enzo played guitars and bass, while Vito was responsible for the drums and keyboards. 2014 saw the release of a successor with the appropriate name; Second.

Compared to other bands, Syncromind Project is a more unorthodox band or project. Normally, when you play this music you should have four musicians, but in the way these two musicians co-operate, it does not seem to be a problem. A common problem for duos is the lack of attention to a musician's second instrument. When you have a talented guitarist, who also plays bass on an album, it always seems I do miss the contribution of a real bass player, just due to the fact the musician focuses too much on his favorite instrument; in this case, the guitar. So, I have to credit both musicians for the perfect balance between the four used instruments; the bass sounds as a bass should sound and drummer Vito does know his way around a keyboard and how to embed this into the compositions. Songs like Time Counselor and On A Giant's Shoulder are absolutely brilliant, well built compositions perfectly balancing the combined talents of our Italian and Polish friends. The latter sometimes sees similarities with Haken's song structures, but never copying. A song like Mata Hari features incredible guitar parts in the first half of the song, including a killer riff, then the atmosphere changes to a piano and fretless bass driven part, taking the song to a higher level. The piano parts in this song as well as in Clarke's Laws, make sure Second is not just a guitar driven album, like some albums I have reviewed. Like I wrote, it is all about the balance between the instruments. And I do think both of the musicians would agree with me in this one. Besides the intriguing craftsmanship displayed on the earlier mentioned songs, the album has a composition that slightly differs from the others; the album's final song Journey. Journey is a slower, more orchestrated song filled with outstanding soloing, but still different from the rest. What it does to me? For me the song fades out, like if you blow out a candle, where I would have preferred to close with a bang!

Syncromind's Second is a fine addition, if you are an aficionado of instrumental progressive rock and if you like bands such as Gran Torino (see review), Relocator (see review) and Special Providence, you will have to add this significant album to your collection. The album Second (as well as Syncronised) can be downloaded for free from the band's page. If you like what you hear, don't forget to support these fine musicians: buy the originals or make a donation on both albums.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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