Artist: Symphony Of Pain   
   Title:  Hydeolody
   Label: AFM Records  

Symphony Of Pain's new album 'Hydeology' is the fruit of the partnership between multi-instrumentalist Tracie Law (ex- Beckie Bondage) and Pam Chowhan (pianist to Julian Lloyd Webber).

As well as laying down the vocals on the album, Law also provides bass, guitar, drums and keyboards, along with Chowhan’s piano, violin and keyboards, with guests Dave Dart and Nick Taylor on guitars and Liz Sweetland providing backing vocals.

The album itself is a dark mystical roller-coaster that mixes hard and melodic rock with a dark mystical twist, this is wrapped around the mesmerizing violin solos of Chowhan.

This isn’t your typical Symphonic Metal offering, this album is so much more with influences from Led Zep to Thin Lizzy to NIN and Queensryche.  This band is so not fitting into any pigeon-hole and for that fact alone, all goes to make this one very special release that has been three years in the making.

Things open up 'Mister Hyde’, a first taste of the darker side of Symphony Of Pain.  This is almost Cooperesque with a deep thumping bass line driving this one, with Law almost narrative menacing vocal adding an even darker edge to the proceedings.

The big bass lines and dark vibe continue with the aptly titled ‘Darker Side’, before the short but effective ‘3rd Movement’, which acts as intro into ‘Sister Change’.  A heavier guitar and classical feel steer this one, but it’s the violin solos of Chowhan that really bring this one to life.  Again an almost narrative vocal for Law just added to the eeriness.

The atmospheric rain fall at the beginning of ‘Lonely’ eases us into the first real vocal of Law on this humble ballad, as the rain continues into the wonderful almost film score sounds of ‘Am I Dreaming’, another track with that almost Alice Cooper feel to it.

The rain gives way to storm winds for the Gothic Metal tones of ‘Kiss The Bride’, which then gives way to the almost Cyber Goth tones of ‘For Now I’m Dead’.  Now this is a song that has the wow factor, there are so many different elements in here, you’ll find yourself going back to this one time and time again.  The mixture of modern and classical elements are just superb.  Definitely one of the highlights of the album.

It's back to the heavier symphonic tones with ‘Out Of My Head’ before the darkest of all the tracks, the strangely compelling ‘Broken Clown’.

The album closes another favourite of mine ‘Nightmare Life’, which starts with Chowhan’s soaring violins then the dark guitars and synths lead the way for Law’s dark narrative vocals, which wraps up what is totally different album from what I normally listen to, but one that is compelling listening.  

Review by: Barry McMinn 


1.  Mister Hyde 
2. Darker Side
3. 3rd Movement
4. Sister Change
5. Lonely
6. Am I Dreaming
7. Kiss The Bride
8. For Now I'm Dead
9. Out Of My Head
10. Broken Clown
11. Nightmare Life



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