Exposé Online banner

Syndone — Eros & Thanatos
(AltrOck Productions Fading FAD-021, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-07-20

Eros & Thanatos Cover art

Syndone appeared on the Italian progressive scene around 25 years ago with their debut release Spleen, and have released five more in the years since, although there was a 17 year gap between the second and third, they have been keeping a two-year schedule since Melapesante in 2010. The only remaining original member through all the years is keyboardist and primary composer Nik Comoglio. Singer and lyricist Riccardo Ruggieri, who featured on 2014’s Odysséas (on which there was a song “Eros & Thanatos,” though it is not repeated here) is here again, this time contributing 12-string guitar as well, and Pino Russo, whose contributions go back four albums is here again on classical guitar and oud, although he only contributes to a couple numbers. Besides that, this is a whole new crew, with four new band members handling bass and bass pedals, drums, piano, Hammond organ, Moog, Mellotron, electric piano, clavinet, vocoder, and vibraphone. Two special guests appear: Ray Thomas (of the Moody Blues) plays flute on one number, and guitarist Steve Hackett plays electric on another. Top that off with a string orchestra and a string quartet (heard on several of the 12 tracks) and you might get the idea that this is an album solidly in the classic Italian prog vein, and indeed it is. While there are no overt references, one can hear the inspiration coming from greats like Banco, PFM, and others straight from the heady days of the early 70s, though Syndone manages to keep their sound fresh, contemporary, and inspired. Ruggieri is an amazing singer throughout, and adaptable to anything that Comoglio and other band members can compose, be it loud aggressive prog rock, soft folky or classical pieces, as one listen to “Duro Come la Morte” will convince any listener of. This is by far one of the finest releases of Italian progressive rock so far this year.

Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Hackett, Syndone

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Al-Bandaluz – By this time, many readers will know what to expect from Mexico's Cast: complex, keyboard-heavy neo-progressive with lots of odd meters. They've stuck to that for what seems like twenty or...  (2003) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues