Overview: Daniel Edward Byerly is supposedly the phenomenon aka SyNtHuSeR, an entity of many talents. A wealth of music and artistic visions stock his thoughts and best of all he releases them to the world. The quality of his compositions is predictably even and stays inspired. Musicianship is tight yet a comfortable listen with SyNtHuSeR communicating his art with obvious ease of execution. Recordings are clean, high-quality mastering, with an attention to being very professional being evident. To realize that Byerly does 99% by himself, start to finish is something few folks could ever hope to pull off successfully. SyNtHuSeR does it again and again.
“Outer Limits” opens things with a monumental 14:43 track. A voice sample of the famous Outer Limits TV show intros with the weird monologue – your brain goes black-n-white with visions of aliens and a foreboding of the unknown. Nice touch. Punchy synths and very tight guitar work kicks in, (guitar triggering synth effects), keyboard jams strong. Think a more in-your-face Fonya or Jeremy. Think Neil Nappe’s July
release on the now-dead Audion label. Synth drums everywhere, handled well but not my favorite voicing for percussives. T. Dream’s Underwater Sunlight
is another good reference here. Synths sound very much like T. Dream’s Miracle Mile
“Beast” uses femme vox samplings from an olde Outer Limits episode, (starring Martin Landau as brow-beaten scientist using LASER light to accidentally let a peaceful alien sage get a free ride to Earth, the alien glides down the “Bifrost” bridge of coherent light into fate at the hands of man’s blind greed and fear. Great episode!) Oh yeah, the review . . . Synth/guitar jams mirror track one but drums sound better. Many more vox samples intersect precise moments along the way. A more jazzy synth-bass is used.
“Drowning”, being bit more spaced-out again employs vox sampling from same episode discussed above but Martin Landau does the angst rant. Superb guitar/guitar-synth triggered effects solo! Poignant, soul-fired, strong lead work here.
“Walking on Your Grave” uses male vox samples from Poltergeist I movie-audio-track. Same guitar/synth interplay but slower tempo. Still tight.
“Spirits” uses yet more Poltergeist samples, the femme vox of the old exorcist/paranormal “ghostbuster”/ “demon-dowser” with same guitar/ synth jams as previous track’s mode. A somber, pensive, and emotive cut.
“Scarecrow” kicks! Think Santana meets Jan Hammer. Think the Jeff Beck There and Back
release. Huge presence, monster drums. As good as the forceful opening cut. Sparse vox samplings barely noted.
“Technostacy Island” uses more femme vox sampling from same Outer Limits show, powerful synths with big percussives. The Outer Limits alien has a word here too, commenting on human fear as the seed. Synths build an interesting tension. I heard that Eddie Jobson/ U.K. synth-voice with a Patrick O’Hearn bass line. Guitar, of courses adds yet another dimension of “cool” when Byerly decides to jam.
Title track outros this CD with generalized children vox samples, Grand piano voice with that Keith Emerson mode to break the predominant synth-only gestalt. Guitar is superb as on previous cuts with Byerly stretching a bit more and showing his chops. That synthvoice-tail added to the riffage is a great effect. Subtle as it is at times it is unique and works well. Weird, distorted trick-or-treater vox samples blip in here and there. As the appropriate outro, the Outer Limits TV “farewell vox” says good bye until next week . . .
If there is to be any complaint lodged here, it will have to be synth percussives sound SyNtHeTiC and so be prepared if you’re a percussive purist. Otherwise this is a strongly recommended, thematic release that holds together very well – start to finish.
Track Listing: Outer Limits, Beast, Drowning, Walking on Your Grave, Spirits, Scarecrow, Technostacy Island, October Fool