To start, I’m not exactly a huge fan of Prog-Power metal. However, I’ve found a very soft spot for SynaptiK for one simple reason: their take on the genre’s hybrid isn’t as overly cheesy as most other bands. “Justify & Reason” is a perfect example of how SynaptiK shows a bit less of a theatrical performance.
Many of the songs have spectacular, catchy riffs to go along with the verses that vocalist John Knight provides. While he still has a voice for power metal, he’s also able to actually sing with his voice with strong amount of control and a variety of range, which makes the smokey tone of his voice less of a factor. Knight doesn’t just stay in one octave for his vocals which is very typical of power metal so it’s nice to hear a wide variety of vocal points. Sure, some of the choruses are a bit too similar with a few songs, but they’re still more enjoyable than most power metal choruses so I’d be more than happy to hear it overused for two or three songs on one album compared to sounding similar to an entire genre.
Ian Knight’s and Jack Murton’s guitar work is pretty solid here. They definitely have some strokes of brilliance in their many solos, particularly in the opening “The Incredible Machine”, surely one of the highlights of “Justify & Reason.” “White Circle” has an incredibly addicting opening that’s very different from the rest of the mid tempo songs. Along with this, comes the verse and bridge riffs from “Human Inhuman” and “A Man Dies” which are incredibly groovy in a sense that they can really get you into the songs with their back and forth, up and down gallop-y feel. All the more reason for the songs to get stuck in your head after a few listens.
For the most part, I think this album is great. The riffs, solos, and vocals are great, and make for an enjoyable and easy listen from start to finish. In the end I’d say this is a pretty original album given its genre. Well done, boys!
Pre-order “Justify & Reason” from SynaptiK’s official website.