Review of ‘Anthem’ by Symfinity

Review by Ryan Murray | February 19, 2021 | Official Facebook

Symfinity, while listed as a symphonic metal band, also have a lot of progressive metal and even some folk/ren faire vibes. This New York City based band is a must see and must hear group! Their website states they have been described as a mix between Jethro Tull and Nightwish, and I completely agree with that. They have a very progressive sound and they pack an even bigger punch live!

In 2018, they opened for Tarja’s return to NYC at The Gramercy. My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Symfinity play from the front row. While I only had the chance to wave “hi” from a far before the show, I’ve kept in contact with the band ever since and can tell you they are the real deal. Not only are they all super talented, but they are genuinely kind and humble people. During the show, the energy they put out to the crowd is so palpable. Symfinity is the type of band that you can feel the heart behind the music. 

Releasing their album “Anthem” March 2020, Symfinity poured so much of themselves into this 12 track album, and it shows. The band did all of the album by themselves, including the recording, mixing and mastering. Also, the band recorded all of the instruments heard throughout the album live! 

This opening track starts out with strings and winds but at :16 seconds when the guitars come in, this honestly gives me a Nirvana vibe. I also love the epic strings/drum part at :48.

The lyrics are limited on this track, but I think it fits perfectly! 

Overall, this song is really arranged well. I really enjoy the live symphonic elements that blend in perfectly with the band. 

“As we search for guiding anthems, aiming at the stars”

To me, this is speaking of our lives. As we seek those things that guide us to our next chapter, that we should always aim high. 

Flipside! Absolutely loved hearing this song played live at the Gramercy! So much energy behind this song. 

This song starts out with a strong symphonic sound with drums holding the groove. Absolutely love the distorted guitars starting at :19.

I also love the dynamics and emotion on this track, both musically and lyrically. 

“Head in the stars, I was fighting all your wars 
Losing grip, you cling and you trip; I’m leaving you behind”

I really love the meaning behind this song. For me, this track talks about moving past friendships that held us back. When others try to hold us back, we need to break free from them and not let them get in the way of our goals and success. Not only that, but also some of those people try to ride the wave of our success.

This track starts out with some heart-pulsing drums and Seann’s vocals. Then Averi “Metalwinds” comes in along with strings and distorted guitars.

The band instruments are blending really well with the symphonic instruments and really compliment each other well. 

Seann’s range is heard really well on this track. 

My favorite part of this track is from 2:53 to the end!

This song, for me, is about all of those backstabbers that we have to deal with throughout our lives. The ones that act so nice to our faces, but then show their real selves when they talk badly about us and try to destroy us with their lies. We need to break free from these people and get away from their destruction. 

“I can handle more than you think. I’m not a prisoner of your destruction.”

The Way I Run From You
This track is a lot of fun and sounds great! It’s probably one of my favorites from the album! The first verse opens with a light intro on keys and flute. When the first verse comes in, strings are added. Seann’s vocals are very light and soft throughout this song, but it shows a lot of depth and emotion! 

Drums come in during the second verse for a bit of a heavier feel along with a stronger symphonic feel. This verse may come as a surprise after hearing the intro and first verse, and the intensity continues building throughout the remainder of the track! 

For me, this song is about escaping the grasps of those that try to hold us back, whether in a personal relationship, toxic family or friends, toxic work environments, and other similar circumstances.

There’s a part of this song that really sticks out to me, both melodically and in lyrical content –

“Never gonna hear you say 
Never gonna find a way 
All I wanna to do right now is 
Run away from you 
All the things you put me through 
So glad that I withdrew 
Don’t you wanna see the way 
I run from you?”

Not only do I love the melody here, but lyrically I relate to this in a strong way. I was stuck in a toxic work environment for many years. This person would constantly stab me in the back by saying one thing to me and another behind my back. They would lie about me behind my back and try to change the perception others had of me. Even though most were smart enough to not believe her lies, it was still painful. This was someone I had known since I was younger, so it made it even more painful. I finally had to withdraw from that environment and it was for the best!

This track opens with a beautiful string intro along with vocals a few seconds in. Even though this is a bit of a slower track, the emotions and depth that this song has are very evident.

This song also reaches me on a personal level. For me, this song is about not being happy with where we are in life, feeling as though we haven’t tried as hard as we could to better ourselves, and the anger and resentment we feel within ourselves because we don’t push ourselves farther.

This track is a bit more up beat! It opens with a hard riff, drums flute a mind a strong symphonic backing. Melodically, at times this one reminds me of earlier Lacuna Coil. (Comalies)

This is another song that showcases Seann’s range! 

This song, for me, is about those people and those things that we allow to hold us prisoner and to keep us back from being better than we are. 

Too many times in life we give people and things the authority to hold us prisoner in a cage of fear and regret. This can only happen if we let it, but too many times that’s exactly what we do. 

“Your cold stare is just a reflection 
Of how I feel inside 
The keeper isn’t you; it’s me 
That’s what I find…”

Something Nothing Everything
This track also opens with just strings, but is soon followed by light guitar and vocals. Avery gently sneaks in on the flute just moments before guitars and drums really pick it up.

The vocals stay down more on this track, gently pulling the listener in further and further. There is so much emotion even with the gentler vocals.

This track, for me, is about missed opportunities in relationships. (Not necessarily romantic ones). So many times in life we find ourselves missing out on opportunities because we were distracted by everything going on around us.  

Guitars start this track out with a sound reminiscent of Creed’s “What If”. This track brings it back lyrically to the chorus of “Flipside” with a very different feel.

At :52 the atmosphere completely changes with winds taking over the lead. 

Days Into Hope
This instrumental track starts out with very emotional and dramatic strings. The melody to this track is really quite beautiful!

At :33, keys take over and are really quite beautiful! This track builds consistently all the way through.

Without Someone
This track opens with a banger of a riff with hard drums. When the vocals come in right after the intro, the guitars and strings take over. 

The vocal melody as well as the musical melody are really catchy.

Finale I: Angel of My Life
The final two tracks broken into two finales. This track is very light and airy all throughout, including vocals. This song is really quite beautiful musically and melodically! 

Lyrically, I can relate to this song all too well. To me, I take this song to be about that moment that someone comes into our lives who completely changes us. I’ve had some weird relationships in the past. Some who wouldn’t stand up for our relationship when it really mattered, others who couldn’t respect my personal beliefs and faith. 

When I met my now wife, that completely changed. She truly is the angel of my life. She helps me to see the best in me when I don’t. She has helped me to believe in true love, seeing past all my faults and building me up to someone better. There will never be any words I can say to thank her for who she is.

Finale II: Sweet and Sour
You couldn’t ask for a more epic track for the final track of this album! This track holds nothing back and is definitely another favorite of mine! I absolutely love the dynamics this track has. Rapid double bass pedals fill the air at :43 seconds in. 

Instrumentally, this track has moments that remind me of Dream Theatre’s “Pull Me Under”.

Overall, I have to give this album a 4.9 out of 5! Everything from the vocals, instrumentation, arrangements and song writing is just perfect. What I really enjoy about this band is that I relate to so much of the meaning behind their material, and feel that many will relate as well. If you haven’t heard this band yet, please give “Anthem” a listen, you won’t regret it! I truly can’t wait to be able to see this band live again after the pandemic clears up!

Review of ‘Doom II’ by Witnesses

Review by Ryan Murray | July 25, 2020 | Official Facebook

Witnesses, a genre-defying Doom Metal band out of New York, NY, that was formed in 2016, released their 6 track album “Doom II” as a self release on May 31st, 2020.

In their press release, it’s stated that this album is about a plague that is born at sea, which makes it to land, to a village that hopes its story will not be forgotten.

This album is simply a masterpiece! From beginning to end, I absolutely love the story it tells. The instrumentation is perfect, and really carries a story of its own! The vocals are filled with emotions of both pain and hope.

To me, this album reminds us that even in the darkest of times, we need to have hope and try to survive even the hardest of plagues.

On This Black Ocean
This album opens up out on the dark ocean. Drums and guitars start off this dirge like track, followed by just bass and vocals. This track is more down tempo, but that doesn’t take away from the power behind the vocals, instrumentation and emotion. 

To me, while this song is about the beginnings of a plague at sea, it can also refer to the plague of a life without hope. When we go through life without hope, we very easily become “another blind ship in the fog”. 

“Alas, another blind ship in the fog
Starboard – it’s too late
There’s no one living

On that vessel
A mirage of life
Was all it was
A trick born of hope
On this black ocean”

I Hope Their Prayers Aren’t Answered
This 11-minute plus track opens up with more of a black metal sound, with heart pounding drums and a lot of speed/tremolo picking on the guitars. After about a minute, the atmosphere completely changes into more of a dirge like feel, which is where it stays for the remainder of the track.

At 3:12, all instruments pull back and we get just keys with a very low and eerie chord progression.

At 4:40, there’s a really interesting section, both instrumentally and vocally. I almost feel as though I’m listening to jazz-like acoustic guitars during this, and it’s a nice atmosphere with the vocals. And the vocal range is really shown as well.

At 7:01, the drums and guitars starts picking up again to bring back that dirge like atmosphere.

The music ends at 9:17, but is followed by sounds of a creaking empty ship with low growling like winds blowing in the background.

“Now they throw themselves
Men overboard
Women overboard
Children overboard”

This track was hard to listen to while reading the lyrics. Such sadness and hurt throughout. With the global pandemic happening right now, there are a lot of correlations lyrically. I think of the many lives of men, women and children that have been effected. I’ve read stories of adults and teens who have taken their own lives due to the isolation of quarantines. A good friend of mine was going through a separation during this whole thing and unable to find work, so he took his on life.

Doom II
The plague makes its way to land! This track starts with just a cymbal, low keys and some occasional drums. Then the vocals come in with strings, which really add to the atmosphere, and I really enjoy the stings throughout this track.

The guitars come in strong at 2:12, but at 3:12 everything pulls back into a lighter, almost soft jazz like acoustic atmosphere. This only lasts a moment until the distorted guitars follow back in.

There’s also a really nice guitar solo at 6:42 which goes through to the end. 

“They brought all the dead into town
The dead want to be found

But none’s more selfish than a dead man
Who wants to be remembered
After three days
The wails in the night began
A murder here
A murder there
We called it doom
We knew it was too late”

For me, this song can refer to the plague of hatred as well. Hatred kills and spreads like a plague.

Worse With Time
This track kinda reminds me a bit of Tool. It opens with synth pads, which create this somber atmosphere, soon to be met by distorted power chords.

Lyrically, this song is kind of a continuation of the previous track. Plagues, no matter what kind, get worse with time. What we do with our time is so important because time is fleeting. Before we know it, we’ll be at our end. What will we have to show for it? Will we be remembered for succumbing to the plague without a fight, or for standing up and fighting against it until the very end?

“Everything I once knew
Everyone I once knew
Is fading away
Like we were never here
We sent a rider with our history
But there was pursuit
And we lost sight at the horizon“

Who Were You Before All This
This track opens with synth pads and keys for about 1:15, then vocals come in along with distorted guitars and drums. We also get a blast beat about half way through this track!

This track, to me, is about how when it comes to the end, we’re all the same. Mothers, fathers, rich bankers, poor farmers, smiths and the like. When we get to the end, is it going to matter how rich we were? Or is it going to be about what we did with our time and did we stand up to the plagues in our lives? Right before your end, who were you?

“Take this father
Then take this banker
The farmer and the rich
They pile up all the same

Catch fire
And sweeten the air
‘Tis them
Who lost humanity”

An Ending
The final track! This track opens right away with distorted, dirge like guitars. From 2:44-4:44, everything pulls way back creating a very light atmosphere. I really like the vocals here during this pulled back section.

Will the plague be our ending? Or will we rise up to defeat the plague?

“And these are my last words
Spoken from another place
Between two worlds
In a deep dark void
There’s nothing left for me
To see, hear, or feel
Nothing here begins again“

This album is amazing! Truly a masterpiece! The vocals are simply amazing with very nice range and emotion throughout. The instrumentation is just perfect.

To me, while this album is about a plague out on the sea, that plague symbolizes so much in real life. Hatred, anger, resentment, selfishness, racism, a lack of hope and so much more. We can rise above these plagues, and that’s why to me personally, this album is just as much about hope as it is about the plagues.

I give this album a 4.9 out of 5!

If you haven’t heard “Doom II” by Witnesses yet, you’re missing out! Please give it a listen!

Review of ‘Darkness’ by Stitched Up Heart

Review by Joshua Becker | June 30, 2020

Stitched Up Heart is a rock band originating from Los Angeles, California, and founded by Alecia “Mixi” Demner. Their latest album “Darkness” was released on Friday, March 13th, 2020.

Upon listening to the album, it seems be a nice mix of rock, and some industrial metal elements, with the electronic sounds in the background. Even though the band is labeled “rock”, it seems like they may have experimented with some industrial metal, given the heavy presence of electronic sounds throughout the tracks.

Another thing I am noticing about the album, is it kind of reminds me a bit of Paramore, and has a bit of a punk rock element to it as well. Lyrically, a lot of the lyrics from the album are very dark, and suggest a struggle, whether internal or external.

I get the feeling “Mixi” may have went through some very dark times during the song-writer process that inspired the somber lyrics. The first three tracks of the album, I get the sense of an inner struggle “Mixi” is doing what she can to face.

When we get to “Warrior”, it sounds like she has finally started to piece things together, and even build up the strength to know her worth and fight the good fight.

“I’m a warrior, and I know what I’m fighting for”. This line reiterates what I mentioned earlier: she has found her strength and knows how to use it.

In “Dead Roses” there is a line of the song “you can’t break a heart that’s already broken”.

This tells the listener “Mixi” has been through some shit, and it’s almost as if she’s saying “you can’t hurt me anymore, I have been down more than you can imagine, and what you are doing, or trying to do won’t make any difference to me.”

The next track “Crooked Halo” is very harrowing, with lyrics like

“I saw you making eyes, you don’t want none of this
I’m a one way ticket to a sinking ship
You can march to the beat of my awful symphony”

Why does it seem like “Mixi” is suggesting that she is a disaster and you should avoid her or you’ll regret it the rest of your days?  There seems to be a lot of deep pain being reflected in this track, and it is extremely disheartening.

Finishing off the album, we get to “My Demon”.
This would have to be the darkest most metal-sounding track on the album.
One of the lines in the song really speaks to the vibe of the whole album.

“I become one with my demon
Let the beast outside of my mind
I become one with my demon
My dark side keeps me alive”

Suggesting to me that through her journey (the album), “Mixi” has fought with herself, and fought with others, and she has become one with her demon (possibly herself and her experiences).

In terms of an overall, this was a very interesting listen, and it definitely stands out from a lot of other rock/metal albums I have listened to before.

I want to give this album a 5/5.

The composition and lyrics are very dark, and very telling of pain, of emotion, of anguish, so many multi-faceted emotions throughout. The production sounds great, the mixing and mastering sound very professional, and you don’t have any tracks where the singing gets washed out by the instruments, or vice-versa.

I am very impressed; great work!

Interview with Stitched Up Heart’s Alecia “Mixi” (2020)

Interview by Joshua Becker & Jessica Clingempeel | June 25, 2020

First, I wanted to say that I saw you in concert last year in Cleveland, and you guys were great.
Awww thank you! That means the world to us.

You were so interactive with the fans in the audience, acknowledging them in the crowd as they were singing along to your songs, and that was just awesome.
You’re very sweet. I try to connect with everyone I can at the show as much as possible. I know, for me as an audience member, I love when bands notice me, so I know how it feels and want everyone to know I see them and I’m grateful they took the time out to watch us!

Are concerts easy for you to get right into, or do you get nervous at times? From what I saw, you seemed so comfortable like you were right at home.
Honestly, it took me a while to be comfortable when I first started. I forced myself out of my comfort zone when I realized I wanted to play my songs in public. It took time to eventually be one with the stage. I still get butterflies before I go on for any show but it seems like as soon as I start a switch is turned on and I’m a whole different person.

Your latest album “Darkness” was such a powerful record, and the lyrics were so dark, and so profound.
Thank you. Hence the album title Darkness.

When did the decision arise to name the album “Darkness?’ and what led you to that?
We wanted to be consistent with Never Alone by using a song title off the album as the album title. The song “Darkness” was dedicated to a few close followers of the band. It was written to take them out of the dark and scary mental state they were in and bring them out stronger. The whole album is meant for every listener to attempt to do the same.

During the writing process, what was going through your mind? It seemed like you were dealing with some very personal things in your life.
I dug deep. I definitely had some major challenges that I was working through at the time. I decided to let myself be vulnerable and voice my thoughts and feelings honestly. I wanted to connect with anyone feeling that way and be their medicine.

When it comes to songwriting, do you have a certain routine like a cup of coffee, or something, to get the creative juices flowing?
I have found that meditation before I write is very helpful. When I’m in writing mode I also listen to a lot of motivational speakers to learn and teach concepts that I’ve attached to the music.

Continuing with the album, I could not help but notice the industrial metal influences in the background. What made the band decide to add the electronic sounds in the background?
It was really just to try something different. There are so many ways to create sounds through electronics and in rock we aren’t just limited to guitar, bass, and drums. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can make it sound much different by messing with synths and chopping up my voice to create its own electronic sounding instrument in the background. We just wanted a modern edge to this album.

I know the Coronavirus outbreak came about late in the making of this album, but did it have any influences on the writing, or even the instrumentals?
No. We were done writing this over a year before the virus hit.

Being that you are all in California, one of the hardest-hit states for the Coronavirus, how has this affected your day-to-day?
I am a homebody as it is, so I am pretty good at staying home. That part hasn’t changed. I haven’t been exercising as much and have been surviving on cupcakes since the pandemic started. Which, by the way, I have perfected the art of. Also, wearing a mask and trying to smile at people you pass at the grocery store is a little awkward. We all have to do our part.

Did you take up any new hobbies while you are waiting this out like everyone else?
Baking has been a new one, and gardening, which I have a lot to learn still. I also redecorated the house!

Is it possible the Coronavirus may be inspiring you to write material for your next album too?
It will definitely have some influence as I draw from current life events in the writing process.

I found in an interview way back that you experienced homeless when you first arrived in L.A., and that really made me tear up. I want to say I am so glad you have since found a home, and you are doing much better.
Yes. That was a scary time. I had just moved to LA with a boyfriend and it didn’t work out. I was lucky enough to find couches to crash on and at times would just sleep in the back of my car on a pile of clothes. But this city is tough and it made me who I am today by going through that. I’m definitely a road warrior from living like a gypsy.

If you knew you years ahead of time this would happen, would you do anything different, or plan anything different?
I would save more money. $1,000 was all I had and I didn’t realize how expensive it was gonna be to survive here. But I stuck it out and am now living comfortably.

Furthermore, with so many in the world facing homelessness, what can we do to really make an impact?
I try to give change if I have it on me when I pass by someone. Some aren’t mentally stable enough to take care of themselves and hold a job. Some have other reasons. Some people choose that life. It’s very sad. But $1 goes a long way.

Do you have any homeless charities you have worked with that we could donate to, for example?
I used to work for the Los Angeles Homeless Service Coalition when I was actually homeless. We would petition at grocery stores and raise money for the homeless. It was too difficult for me to do as I was currently living out of my car at the time, so I didn’t work there very long. I would suggest looking up a church that feeds the homeless or a local food bank in your area online.

What about advice for those who are homeless?
I would suggest staying off substances. For a lot of them, that is unfortunately what keeps them on the streets. Substance abuse is a real disease and is very hard to overcome. For some with mental illness, or who choose to fly under the radar, it’s difficult to tell someone how to live their life. Jobs definitely help and there are programs to help shelter and feed them.

I also see you are a huge animal lover and work a lot with Kitten Rescue. Did the passion for animals start with you as a child, or is this something you discovered later in life?
Animals are simple innocent creatures to me. There is something so simple yet so complex that draws me to them. There is a peace and sense of purpose I feel when I am helping an animal. Doing something selfless for something else is my soul food.

Do others in the band have the same passion as you Alecia?
They all love animals. You’re not allowed to be in the band if you don’t! Hahaha but I’m the one with the intense drive to keep doing the volunteer work and connecting with fundraisers.

At present, how many animals do you all co-habitate with?
Well… I have 3 cats. I am currently fostering 3 two month old kittens who will be going to a different foster mother soon. I am currently volunteering at California Equine Retirement Foundation (Cerf) that helps care of retired racehorses and rescues. It gives those homeless animals a sanctuary to live out their days.

With Covid, we wanted to do something to get others minds off it, so I have some additional questions I would like to ask (if you have the time, since there are quite a few).
Even when you don’t have much, do something selfless. That is all 🙂

Survey Questions

What made you want to become a musician?
I have just been drawn to instruments since recorder class in elementary school. It was my favorite class, so I continued band in middle school playing the tuba. Once I got to high school, I found the guitar and it was all downhill from there!

What are some of your hobbies outside of music/career?
Painting, animal rescue (obviously), art.

If you had to be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?
I am comfortable being me, but maybe a bird so I could fly!

Do you have any pets?
I have 3 fluffy cats

What is your favourite animal?
This answer has changed over time but I’m gonna go with a unicorn this time!

Are you a Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore?
I like to say a liberal vegetarian. I try to eat very little meat but sometimes I feel like my body needs the nutrients and I cave in.

A new law has passed where only one genre of music is allowed, which would you choose? (It is totally alright if you choose Disney music! No judgment here.)
Rock ‘n’ roll babyyyy!

What is your favourite country?
Well, I haven’t traveled anywhere aside from Canada & Mexico, yet, so I’m gonna say it would be the one I was born and raised in…USA.

What foods do you love to devour?
My grandma’s recipe of mac ‘n’ cheese!

Apple or Android?
Apple! 100%.

Where are you from?
Born in Atlanta GA. Grew up in Orlando FL. Lived my adult life in Los Angeles, CA and I am currently in Riverside CA

What was your favourite possession as a child?
My pets, even though they weren’t my possession. They’re my friends. They probably own me more.

What is your favourite possession now?
Same answer!

What motto do you live by?
Be kind.

Do you play video games? If so, what do you like playing the most?
I have a love hate relationship with video games. When I get sucked into a game I will play forever. I have to stop myself or it will consume me! World of Warcraft is my kryptonite.

Which gaming platform do you prefer?
PlayStation or PC

Any particular soundtrack you would recommend to people?
All of the God of War soundtracks or Doom is pretty sick too!

Are you into any comics, manga, or anime?
I was into anime for a while. Watched over 250 episodes of Nature till it became fuller and I got bored.

You are now stuck on an island with only one item (cannot be phone.) What is the item you choose?

What is your favourite colour?
Fluorescent clear.

You can bring one famous figure from our past back to life, who do you choose and why?
Jesus would be interesting!

Any embarrassing moments to tell?
One year at Rock on the Range I was crowd surfing on this epic inflatable Pegasus pool float and it popped. That was pretty embarrassing.

Were you a good student or a class clown in school?
I was a B student artsy kinda kid.

Ocean or Mountains?
Beach babe.

If you had to play in a film, what kind of part would you want to play?
The rocker chick

Top 5 Musicians/Bands
The Beatles, Metallica, Louis Armstrong, NIN, and Linkin Park

Top 5 Shows/Movies
South Park, Ancient Aliens, Supernatural, Grandmas Boy, and anything with The Rock.

Top 5 Books
The Missing Piece. Mindfulness books and self help books.

Review of ‘A New Death’ by Five Minutes Hate

Review by Ryan Murray | May 30, 2020 | Official Facebook

Five Minutes Hate is a death metal band from Italy. After their debut release called “Explanation to Failure” in 2016, FMH has followed that up with a sophomore release entitled “A New Death”.

The band states in their press release “The common thread that unites the 10 tracks wants to continue the concept tackled in the first album: the rebirth through the death of a new subhuman race, in a post-apocalyptic scenario of desolation, which in this new guise will make its way through darkness and chaos.”

This album is definitely a step forward for FMH! I had checked out their debut album also, and this new release is a much stronger production all around! The mix sounds really good, with a more modern sound and musically I like the direction this new album has taken. There are definitely some more melodic, almost metalcore like guitar riffs that remind me of bands such as All That Remains, As I Lay Dying and others.

Mediocrity Will Be Your Grave
This album starts off heavy with a punch right away with this solid opening track! The guitar riffs are a mix of death metal and more of a melodic metalcore sound with heart pounding drums throughout. At about 2:07, you get the idea of a break down coming, which kicks in in full at 2:19.

As a society, we tend to get complacent and we seem okay with being just mediocre. We tend to pass the “extra” stuff off, thinking that we can get away with putting in very little effort and settle for the least of things. We allow this complacency to control us and don’t see the need to break out of it. 

The rest is not your job
and neither are you aware of it
marionette of the new world
Puppet animated from below

The Man You Will Never Be
This song starts out aggressively with a sound that almost reminds me of In Flames. With heavy, yet melodic guitars and heart pounding drums, this song really draws you in and hooks you. I found myself going back to hear the riffs on this track several times! Also, around 3:00 in, while the instruments pull back quite a bit, the aggressiveness almost gets even more evident. 

In what seems to be tying up lyrical meaning from the first track, this song seems to share the idea that ignorance and mediocrity go hand in hand. When we are so complacent with the status quo, we don’t seem to care enough to want to change it, even if it’s for the better. We reject anything that doesn’t coincide with what we think or believe in and we reject it and refuse to listen. 

Rejection is the evil‘s food
Refusal is the evil’s source
A vicious circle of death
The future of our species“ 

Under Its Claws
This song is aggressive right out of the gate! With more of a death metal feel than the last song, it’s got aggressive vocals, a break down feel at :13 seconds, and death metal style blast beats all throughout. The lead guitars definitely offer a melodic feel on top at times also. The song ends on a fade out.

This song lyrically seems to about the darkness that is created by our blindness to see the truth around us. We tend to skip into the complacency of walking around blind folded. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, we unwisely turn a blind eye. This song seems to be a call to wake up and take off the blinders. 

“Knowledge now a word into disuse
Belonged to times that seem too far
Because mind is in trap
Custom built for fools
Conviction of right will grow
Conviction to act for our future.”

Cunning Opportunist Individual
This song has a bit more of a metalcore feel with the guitar riffs.  I really enjoy the intro to this one. The vocals are again aggressive and filled with emotion. 

“Human lives are in your hands
Incapable in the trivial things
That will build roads to death 
Which will also involve you too
Your offspring will perish soon
And suffer the sentence you created
Your mind will misunderstand again”

This song seems to be about those in society that are only out for themselves. Those that will walk all over and destroy people just to get what they want, regardless of who or what they exploited on their way there. The decisions we make now will have a serious effect on our children in the future. Will we build a better future for them? Or just repeat the same mistakes over and over again without care for others?

Rising Rain
Starting off with a metalcore feel with some hard blast beats mixed in, you better have your neck muscles warmed up! This is a hard hitting track has got really catchy melodic lead riffs with aggressive vocals throughout. 

“Your deeds feed hate
Confused with love 
The human species will seek it, feed it and preach it”

This song seems to be about being two faced. Many in society tend to say one thing in front of others while they do something completely different in private. Many claim to be doing things out of love, but really it’s with malice and harmful intent. Sadly, many seek this as being good, even though it’s just perpetuated two facedness. 

This track has another really aggressive start. This one has more of a death metal feel and is loaded with blast beats throughout. With fast guitar riffs and heart pounding drums throughout, this track is an all out assault.

This track starts off just a bit more pulled back, but then comes in aggressively at about :9 seconds in. This track is also more of a death metal feel throughout.

“A drift approaching, invisible to most
Disguised in future progress

That fools dare to praise
The uniform motion of human existence”

This song seems to be about mankind’s uniformed march towards it’s own destruction. If we continue on our path of blind complacency, oblivious to the darkness around us, we will wake up to a darker future than we can imagine. 

Torment of the Black Sheep
This song starts off with more of a metalcore sound, and the opening riff is really catchy and can be heard throughout. There are a lot of melodic lead parts that are really catchy throughout this track.

“I’m alone surrounded by people
This is our condition
We are the black sheep
In a very big white wool sea”

Lyrically, this song seems to be about being a nonconformist in a world where so many just seem to fall in line with the status quo. Normally, it would be bad to be called a black sheep, but for me, this song seems to say that being a black sheep and standing alone is better than blindly conforming to the status quo. 

This track has a much more laid back intro for the first :44 seconds. Light, but distorted lead guitars play in harmony with a few pinch harmonics thrown in nicely. Then the aggressive vocals come in at :45. Then at 1:03, let’s kick it up a notch with some heart pounding drums. Then at 2:13 the groove flips into a triplet feel which adds a nice change!

“Success, money and health
Have made a huge ego
Walking six feet above the ground

Watching humanity from above
That shows only small men
Like toy soldiers
That you can take and destroy
Can take and destroy 
Whenever you like!” 

This track seems to be about those in power that make decisions without a care of what will happen to the “toy soldiers”. With just the stroke of a pen, wars can begin destroying countless lives. It seems to say that those who are “watching humanity from above” are destroying us without a care in the world.

The Abyss is Venting Up
The final track! Musically I think this is my favorite one on the whole album! To me, the guitar riffs are a blend of metalcore and just straight up metal. I really like the riffs in this one a lot! 

“Hate coming out like lava
Of an acidic volcano
That awaits a millennia 
Before devastating everything!
Humanity will soon be submerged
A new mixture, an alienating substance”

This song, to me, is about the devastating effects that hate has on the world. I really don’t think many understand how toxic and evil hate really is. Humanity is slowly decaying from all of the hate that just seems to be getting worse and worse by the minute.

I would give this album a 4.0 out of 5.0. The sound quality is great with a really good mix. I like the balance of the instruments and vocals as well! While I know they are a death metal band, with the seemingly more melodic approach they took on this album, I was hoping there would be even just a few sections with a bit cleaner vocals just to break it up a bit, but otherwise it’s a great album! If you haven’t heard “A New Death” already, definitely give it a listen!

Fun Interview with Averi & Seann (Symfinity)

Interview by Jessica Clingempeel | Official Facebook

Some quarantine fun with Avi & Seann of Symfinity!

• What made you want to become a musician?
*Averi: I always loved making music with my family and friends because it was so powerful and meaningful, and I had the best music teachers that were always so fun and inspiring!

*Seann: I wanted to choose a different career path than my friends in high school, and chose music because it felt artistically and spiritually meaningful.

• What are some of your hobbies outside of music/career?
*Averi: Composing, playing different instruments in different genres for other bands and for fun, dancing, playing tennis, learning languages, exercising, walking in nature, listening to all different styles of music from around the world, watching tv, playing computer/app/board games, hanging out with friends, going to the gym, attending live shows… the list is endless!

*Seann: Board gaming, cooking, gardening, walking in nature, learning different computer languages

• If you had to be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?
*Averi: A unicorn.

*Seann: Jeff Bezos, to give myself a job at Amazon

• Do you have any pets?
*Averi: No!!!! (But I enjoy other people’s pets)

*Seann: (*Points to Averi) Just the one on the couch there.

• What is your favourite animal?
*Averi: Giraffe
*Seann: Cat

• Are you a Herbivore, Carnivore, or Omnivore?
*Averi: Pescatarian (who generally dislikes seafood and dairy) for 12 years

*Seann: Pescatarian

• A new law has passed where only one genre of music is allowed, which would you choose? (It is totally alright if you choose Disney music! No judgment here.)
*Averi: Cinematic (would listen to it and write it)

*Seann: Classical music (but I reserve the right to write metalish riffs for violin)

• What is your favourite country?
*Averi: I am completely in love with learning about new countries, cultures, and languages, and am so excited to travel the world even more when it’s safe to. Aside from the beauty and vastness of America, and the right to travel and act freely here, I’d say Italy. I used to live in Tuscany for some of my musical training in college, and I miss it terribly. I find every part of Italy to be so unique, full of lovely, genuine, and warm people, and teeming with incredible culture, breathtaking nature, and delicious food!

*Seann: Aside from America? Canada (because it’s the only other one I’ve been to). But I’m excited to travel more soon when it’s safe to!

• What foods do you love to devour?
*Averi: Tex-mex, salad, unsweetened almond milk, and uh, pizza – duh! 😉

*Seann: Tex-mex, salad, pizza, and pasta

• Apple or Android? 😉
*Averi: Apple

*Seann: Android

• Where are you from?
*Averi: A pineapple under the sea

*Seann: Oregon

• What was your favourite possession as a child?
*Averi: My stuffed animals, instruments, and electronics

*Seann: Instruments

• What is your favourite possession now?
*Averi: My instruments, electronics, and stuffed animals (ok, and my car! lol) 😛

*Seann: Instruments

• What motto do you live by?
*Averi: Treat others how you’d like to be treated.

*Seann: Settling sucks, unless its Catan or Civilization.

• Do you play video games? If so, what do you like playing the most?
*Averi: No, but computer/app games. I love Sims 3 and 4, and Harry Potter Quiddich for computer. I love Catan, Bitlife, Harry Potter, Forge of Empires, Cooking Fever, My Cafe, and Ticket To Ride for the iPhone. But my fave video games are, and will always be, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 for PlayStation, followed by Mario Kart for Gameboy Advance.

*Seann: No, but computer/app games. I love Sim City 4, Civilization 4, Commander Keen 4, Portal, and Starcraft for the computer.

• Which gaming platform do you prefer?
*Averi: Computer (and then, phone)

*Seann: Board (and then, computer)

• Any particular soundtrack you would recommend to people?

*Seann: Lord of the Rings

• Are you into any comics, manga, or anime?
*Averi: No. 😛 But I enjoy all the Marvel and DC movies!!

*Seann: Naruto. And I enjoy all the Marvel and DC movies!!

• You are now stuck on an island with only one item (cannot be phone.) What is the item you choose?
*Averi: Food. And I insist on being stuck with Seann.

*Seann: Water. And I insist on being stuck with Averi.

• What is your favourite colour?
*Averi: Blue

*Seann: Green

• You can bring one famous figure from our past back to life, who do you choose and why?
*Averi: Alan Rickman, so we can chat, sing, and make potions together.

*Seann: Mozart, so I can show him symphonic rock and metal!

• Any embarrassing moments to tell?
*Averi: Thankfully no, but I guess what comes close is that one time I
almost fell off a stage during a show!

*Seann: Not that I can think of, thankfully!

• Were you a good student or a class clown in school?
*Averi: While I was/am very comical, I was/am still a good student. I was a fairly good elementary/secondary student, but then I ended up going on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from undergrad and then get a perfect GPA in my Masters degree and all my post-Masters classes since then! Sorry to toot my own horn! 😮

*Seann: I tried to be the class clown and failed. I went on to receive my B.A., two Masters Degrees, and a certificate.

Ocean or Mountains?
*Averi: Growing up between the ocean and also a lake with mountains, that’s a toughie! My favorite thing is forests, so I don’t know! Can’t choose! Help!

*Seann: I grew up on the west coast in high elevation near the Pacific Ocean, so I choose mountains looking over the ocean!

If you had to play in a film, what kind of part would you want to play? *Averi: The smart, sexy elf boss. (“Averi” does mean “ruler of the elves,
after all! ;D)

*Seann: A superhero.

Top 5 Musicians/Bands
*Averi: I can’t do 5. My favorite rock/metal bands are: System of a Down, Sonata Arctica, Symphony X, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Rammstein, Ensiferum, Tarja, Renaissance, Blackmore’s Night, Nightwish, Avatar, and In This Moment. I have seen 9 of the 12 live, befriended some, and played with 2! 🙂

*Seann: Lacuna Coil, The Gathering, Tarja, Within Temptation, Delain, Metallica, and Ghost (oops, that’s 7!)

Top 5 Shows/Movies
*Averi: Movies = Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars franchises. TV = Criminal Minds, NCIS, CSI, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Any transformation show…ever, The Office, Archer, X-Files, Goosebumps, and of course…. Jersey Shore ;D

*Seann: Movies = Harry Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, and DC franchises. TV = Star Trek: TNG (and everything chronologically afterward), Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Goosebumps, MythBusters, and Queer Eye

Top 5 Books
*Averi: My childhood faves are still my faves I’d ever read! Harry Potter series, The Giver, Ender’s Game series, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series (yup, same author, turns out! ;o lol), and coffee table books with pretty pictures of nature 😛

*Seann: Harry Potter series, Redwall, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Essential Dictionary of Orchestration.