PALINDROME - Bundle These Last Scattered Synapses
Profit vs. WoMankind was one of the huge revelations I had the pleasure to review two years ago. Even then their debut longplayer was already a good year old, so that it finally took the Viennese septet three years to come up with their second sign of life, even if it only a five track EP.
Of course there is some disappointment involved, considering probably not only my hopes for another full length album, and once it becomes clear that the new material even managed to improve upon the already very excellent debut, it seems a little sad that after twenty-five minutes, the journey is already over.
But let’s not despair! Palindrome are one of those bands that put more ideas into a single song than many other artists come up within their entire band history. The surprising thing is that the Austrians always manage to keep their songs short enough and never indulge in prolonged instrumental sections. Apart from the concluding seven minute long Sevenmember, the songs all range between four and five minutes.
Like last time, it is no easy feat to describe the band’s musical orientation. They simply label themselves as modern progressive metal, but it couldn’t be further away from what is commonly understood by that term. Instead, the classically trained musicians collect all kinds of influences (prog rock, jazz, rock, pop,…) and let them clash together in an unprecedented way. That they eventually always come up with consistent material only speaks for their incredible talent. The jazz ratio has increased, which makes sense considering that the saxophonist and the trumpeter are new in the line-up.
What we are left with are five hyperactive prog songs with a high fusion jazz dose that have the density of a neutron star, yet this never prevents the listening experience from being anything but delightful. While all the musicians do an exceptional job, I want to point out especially the keyboarder whose wide range of sounds truly give the music immense depth, and the horn section whose input also helps to broaden the already initially large spectrum of the band to even more mind expanding vistas. And of course, like last time, the band’s highlight is vocalist Rosa. While her voice never seems as affected as that of many gothic / prog metal vocalists, she still has a tremendously expressive and charismatic organ that manages everything from sweet melancholy to fiercely scratching rock performances.
Palindrome are certainly one of the few unique rock bands around, but like everybody else, they also have their influences. In their case, it’s such diverse bands as Mr Bungle, Primus (and there are occasionally similarities with the bass lines), The Mars Volta and Naked City. This doesn’t mean that Palindrome sound like these artists, but their approach is definitely not unlike theirs. Those of you who want an easy listening experience might also find a little to like on Bundle These Last Scattered Synapses, but the true enjoyment goes out to the people who want to dig deeper. Put on your headphones and get ready for an unparalleled sonic trip! And let’s hope that the next longplayer won’t have us waiting for such a long time. I would have given this EP the maximum rating, because it is an exceptional piece of art, but I keep back with the hope that their next output will finally see these seven talented musicians at the zenith of their artistic vision.