Nov 2011 15

Cassandra Syndrome - Satire XCassandra Syndrome
Category: Gothic / Metal
Album: Satire X
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Taking their production and songwriting further into heavier and more dramatic and epic territory, Cassandra Syndrome standout among goth metal bands.


Most gothic and symphonic metal is renowned for the juxtaposition of ethereal female vocals, mystical synthesizers, and the guttural roar of heavy metal. While Maryland’s Cassandra Syndrome could easily be compared to the likes of Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, and other similar bands, the band stands out for the absence of synthesizers, relying solely on the powerful might of the band’s melodic metal and vocalist/lyricist Irene Jericho’s operatic delivery, her voice acting as much as an instrument as the guitars, bass, and Jay Jericho’s Zendrums. Satire X finds the band following up the 2009 album Of Patriots and Tyrants with dramatic and confident flair, determined to eschew the sophomore slump and set the world afire with their incendiary brand of gothic metal.

From the first thunderous notes of “No More Peace Forever,” Satire X establishes itself as a distinguishably heavier album than the previous release. The interplay between Chris Kackley and new member Jen Tonon on the guitars creates an unabashed growl that contrasts with the soaring vocals, balancing the dynamics between the various styles at play in Cassandra Syndrome’s music. Joseph Cariola’s bass and backing vocals provide much in the way of low end, lending to the musical fury on songs like “Shackles,” “The Fool,” and especially the highly rhythmic, almost danceable cadence of “Poison Rain.” Other standout tracks include “The Priestess” with its guitar harmonies that evoke classic metal bands like Iron Maiden, the solos adding a psychedelic atmosphere that continues in “What You Wanted” with its buildup from a calm acoustic intro to hazy gothic metal grandeur.

While the previous album suffered slightly from thin production, the musicianship of the band could not be questioned, and with Satire X, Cassandra Syndrome has pushed forward in the best possible way to create a better, tighter, and heavier album. The drums, while synthetic, carry greater weight, the guitars always driving and muscular, and while one could argue that the vocals are a tad overwrought with their falsetto highs, they work for Cassandra Syndrome’s style and often work in lieu of the lack of keyboards. In other words, Satire X does what a sophomore album should do and improves on the band’s formula without losing the personality of what makes the band appealing in the first place.

Track list:

  1. No More Peace Forever
  2. Hell on Earth
  3. The Fool
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  5. Shackles
  6. Poison Rain
  7. The Priestess
  8. What You Wanted
  9. The Iron Cross
  10. Pestilence

Cassandra Syndrome Website
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Cassandra Syndrome ReverbNation

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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