It somewhat amazes me that Romania's Syn Ze Sase Tri doesn't have a larger following considering the irksome bestowment often lowered on symphonic black metal and the surprisingly enjoyable (compared to their cohorts) content stuffed within their second full-length effort. For the most part, anyway. Entitled "Sub Semnul Lupului," the release explores a symphonic side of black metal which is not shockingly layered in a saccharine misuse of symphonic elements ŕ la Dimmu Borgir, but instead applies keyboards, atypical instruments and influences, and a natural folk touch to make the record a decent balance between bombastic and dynamic. Syn Ze Sase Tri's greatest bane is their inability to forge material that makes the listener want more, however; moments as such are scattered throughout the release, yet not at the rate they should be.
I mean, they are an interesting faction considering the involvement of Corb from Negură Bunget—that progressive essence undoubtedly gave some of its colors to Syn Ze Sase Tri—and the vital role of naturally interwoven symphonic and folk roots. I also feel that their black metal riffs run through some kind of an unusual cycle based on the way they revolve in and out of the group's assault, even though it's really the same stuff at its core. The squad's overall appeal is really interesting when all of the individual components are jammed together; some of their material is honestly unlike anything I've ever heard. However, there's quite a bundle of sonnets which hopelessly praise all the generic riffs and songwriting woes, and a big chunk of the opus is sadly unmemorable.
Syn Ze Sase Tri's finest moments are only found in the initiating numbers and the utterly majestic "În Pîntecul Pămîntului," which is easily the album's best slice. The song itself is doused in acoustic guitars, blast beats, a plethora of folk influences and instruments, and some of the finest symphonic factors I've ever heard in this sub-section of black metal. "În Pîntecul Pămîntului" is everything that "Sub Semnul Lupului" can be, and it shows that this band has the potential and ability to become an astral wolf which devours the nine worlds with its absolute might, even though Syn Ze Sase Tri's remaining efforts fall beneath its weight. Calling it a fantastic song would be insulting; this is a masterpiece most groups dream of painting.
I find it somewhat disappointing that "În Pîntecul Pămîntului" is the only exceptional fragment offered by these Romanian warriors, but alas, it deserves the highest of praises for its sheer mastery of everything. Even though I'm not completely satisfied with Syn Ze Sase Tri's overall opus, the record shows promise. In fact, I'd call it more of a guarantee that this band can and will, one day, unleash a lycanthropic magnum opus upon the world of symphonic black metal that will literally quake the sugary, one-dimensional false prophets into the pits of oblivion. Until then, Syn Ze Sase Tri's "Sub Semnul Lupului" feels like a viper in darkness waiting for its time, and it knows the world's hourglass is running dangerously low from the fatal strike of its blasphemous fangs.