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Synaethesia (The Requiem Reveries) Review

by Matt Hensch

After ten years of activity, metallic electricians …And Oceans changed their moniker to Havoc Unit to showcase a new evolution in the band's identity. Five years passed since this strange faction presented any new material, and then came this little oddball of a split: Synaethesia (The Requiem Reveries). Now add this virgin material with a triple dose of the mysterious The Sin: Decay and you have one weird-as-bamboo release that's both entertaining and unique; at least for the most part.

A five year absence of And Oceans brings forth a new band with a semi-different sound: the esoteric Havoc Unit. While still applying the industrial overtones and samples, Havoc Unit takes a deeper metallic approach with heavy riffs and harsh-as-hell vocals. However, the atmospheric quality added into each of Havoc Unit's tunes is still a relevant factor in their sound; quite a fun, if strange, set of material. Have …And Oceans changed? Moderately, but it's still the same band at the musical core.

And then we get to the split's weakness: …And Oceans remixes. After such a bizarre and interesting display of electronic carnage comes an annoying barrage of techno, strange samples, random noise, and puzzling vocals tossed around like a stack of cards after experiencing a fall from the table. Yet that's just the start of the bowel movement as the listener's tolerance beings to fail from various situations involving drone-noise compounds with even more hazy beeps scattered about. It's not a fun listen overall.

Soon enough, the harmful winds subside and The Sin: Decay take over the split's last three slots. Surprisingly, the three tunes offered by this experimental group is certainly the finest material found on Synaethesia (The Requiem Reveries) due to the vast exploration across the metallic-industrial front. Atmospheric and beautiful, The Sin: Decay emits such a unique blend of heaviness and electronics that it almost brings the …And Oceans/Havoc Unit discography to shame---it is that good.

Despite having some minor inconsistencies, Synaethesia (The Requiem Reveries) provides a decent listening experience with nice electronic touches. The …And Oceans remixes have no substance at all, but the material presented by Havoc Unit and The Sin: Decay is totally worth the purchase---if you're into the whole far-side of industrial metal, that is.

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