The Finnish group's third full-length release, SINERGY's Suicide By My Side is a mature, classy-sounding affair that essentially picks up where 2000's To Hell And Back left off, with main songwriter Alexi Laiho's excellent riffing style and American frontwoman Kimberly Goss' much-improved vocal chops at the core of the act's critically-acclaimed brand of melodic power metal. Laiho (who doubles as CHILDREN OF BODOM's guitarist/vocalist) is an absolute master of his craft, consistently delivering dizzying rhythms while allowing enough room for Goss' raspy, distinctive wail to shine through in a manner that always puts the songs ahead of any penchant for self-indulgence. In the end, the combination works wonderfully and retains a fairly original flavor that is likely to please the fans of the more traditional approach while serving as a refreshing change from the countless HAMMERFALL knock-offs that have flooded the market in the recent years. Standout cuts include opener “I Spit On Your Grave”, with an infectious chorus that stretches Kimberly's vocal cords to the max, the beautifully-executed semi-ballad “Written In Stone”, featuring some of Laiho's finest MAIDEN-like guitar harmonies to date, and the stomping “Passage To The Fourth World”.In the big scheme of things, SINERGY may not doing anything tremendously innovative, but any old-school metal fan would be hard-pressed to find a quality act that delivers the goods with as much conviction as this Helsinki five-piece.
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