SyNtHuSeR: Eleven OneBy
“Part one”, 9:19, dark ambient drone synth opening. Very eerie, very effective. Over-loud synth-drums kicking in distract/ shock a tad but overall synth use is excellent. Byerly’s signature guitar with synthvoicings meshed into riffage spices things up nicely. Think my pal, Neil Nappe and his 80s July release.
“Part two”, 10:06, a rambling piece full of stretching room for SyNtHuSeR to rock out and jam on his axe. O’Hearn/ Mark Egan -styled bass lines add a solid low end. Axe sounds a bit more synthy in its added-on synth textures – still very cool sound! SyNtHuSeR plays one solid, flash-free axe – nice stuff. Clean sounding axe work reminds me off that Paul Speer attack/ release on the Lanz and Speer releases. I actually prefer SyNtHuSeR’s overall effect. Synths goes Oriental in chiming koto-ish sound. Subtly dark synth drones heighten tension between solos. Synth solo is wonderful! Synth-banjo surprised me but thankfully was brief. Great cranked-up to speed finale was a high point. Bravo. Strong cut full of nice mutations and evolutions.
“Part three”, 7:51, dreamy yet rhythmic cut, sweet piano voicings, Peter Buffet meets Paul Speer here in a tight interplay. Synths assume a choral coloring in spots. Byerly can jam out at break-neck tempos then hit the brakes for a slow-mo drift in a heartbeat. Very, very nice touch! A Spanish-flavored adagio of muted horn arrives. Classy and intelligent break. A big finale like ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery or a Vangelis bombastic outro ends things.
“Part four”, 7:27, Nothing really new here but a bit more of a bluesy, heart-felt rocking guitar riffage over near-jazzy, funked up keys in an Argent mood or some 70s Quicksilver Messenger Service free jam. Lotsa good fretwork to be enjoyed here. But Byerly, please lose that banjo-synth module thingee!
“Part five”, 6:30, SyNtHuSeR riffs it up BIG time on this track and clearly shows off virtuoso fingers. Synths as usual very strong. Great mellow breaks here, strong bass lines, dreamy guitar soloing.
“Part six”, 9:07, piano-voiced intro with synth edges, more SyNtHuSeR riffs on axe adds emotive charge and pathos. Keys assume early solo Kit Watkins sound. This track meanders all over the place rhythmically, a myriad of synth voices cascade across the spectrum of Byerly’s visions. This is the most Fonya-like cut but with many of Kit Watkins’ colorings. SyNtHuSeR’s guitar riffs cutting in will make some think of Canada’s Nathan Mahl and his The Clever Use of Shadows release. This is one of SyNtHuSeR’s most adventurous pieces approaching symphonic prog in its scope. But Byerly, please lose that banjo-synth module thingee! Steps Ahead already burned me out long ago with its over-use on Magnetic shiver, shiver, shake. Ah good, it was but a brief flurry of notes.
“Part seven”, 10:21, had me thinking Vangelis’ Antarctica at first then a head-bobbing, lounge-jazzy boogie synth-rock kicks in – STOP now we space out with a wide flange synthwash presaging more guitar jams. Synth drums being so unadorned in the “open spots” as fills and in quiet moments sound a bit machine-sounding and grate slightly. SyNtHuSeR handles them well as momentum builds and volume increases and track “thickens” in more sounds. This cut has a Larry Fast meets Kansas feel in places with an almost heroic lilt in its synths but that SyNtHuSeR groove avoids any easy pigeon-holes for reviewers to put him in. His stuff is unique and very listenable. Track ends abruptly.
SyNtHuSeR has done it again. Eleven One is yet one more slickly done collection of guitars meet synths. A strong effort screaming for another release just to see where SyNtHuSeR will head in his next creation. Do some more, Daniel. You’re good dude.
Part one through Part seven
Daniel Edward Byerly aka SyNtHuSeR - EVERYTHING
Title: Eleven One | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Eleven One Records