Howling Syn Forebearers of Dusk

The first full-length release by Montreal's Howling Syn tells a two-part story, combining fantasy, Arthurian legend and Gothic horror through elaborately crafted poetry. With their music, the band successfully evokes images of archaic heroes and evil magic, ranging between classic metal to more symphonic orchestrations, occasionally softening the heaviness with medieval-inspired passages and even a real flute. Now and then Howling Syn resembles early Moonspell, especially in vocalist Patryk Pigeon's clean vocals. Introducing both sections of the album with instrumental tracks, this band sounds impressive at the start, but once the vocals come in they begin to lose momentum. Pigeon's growls are subtly evil, but his softer singing often seems strained, along with the slightly off high-pitched female harmonies. Musically, Howling Syn has something that works really well, but vocally they don't quite have it together. (Galy)