Friday, 20 April 2012


Syndéresi come from the province of Treviso and were formed in the late nineties. The name of the band means Synderesis, a philosophical term that defines the natural capacity or disposition of the practical reason to apprehend intuitively the universal first principles of human action. After some line up changes, in 2001 they started to work on a debut album, a conceptual work inspired by the gospels with a line up featuring Ivan Capraro (vocals, percussion), Ronny Tittoto (guitars, vocals), Giovanni Panno (piano, keyboards, flute), Gianluca Lombardi (bass) and Alberto Bazzaco (drums). In 2003 they finally released a self produced debut album titled I.N.R.H. that, according to the band, was meant just as a demo. Unluckily they didn’t find a deal with any label and soon after the release of the “demo” they split up. It’s a real pity, because I.N.R.H. is a very promising work.


The acronym I.N.R.I. (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum) represents the Latin inscription which in English reads as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews” that was put on Christ’s cross and the album was titled I.N.R.H. (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Hominum) to underline the human side of Jesus. However, Syndéresi’s album has nothing to do with woks such as Jesus Christ Superstar, it was not conceived as a lecture about the Gospels or to reinterpret them or to exalt religion. The lyrics were written by Alberto Bazzaco and were inspired by the gospels (canonical and apocryphal) but they deal in a poetical way with issues such as fate, omens, the relationship between men and time, feelings. The music recalls the Italian prog masters of the seventies and is built upon the lyrics adding colorful, evocative touches to the concept.

The opener “Annunciazione” (Annunciation) is a kind of disquieting, psychedelic dream where the meeting between the archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary provokes an emotional vortex. There’s no happiness, the atmosphere is dark and some passages in the central section recall Il Balletto di Bronzo’s “Ys”. Mary sees in a play of shadows the reclined dying face of Jesus and the Annunciation here becomes almost an ominous presage for the future of her son.

“Natività” (Nativity) features a mysterious atmopshere and some Oriental flavours. This track was inspired by a scene narrated in the apocryphal Gospel of James. As Joseph goes out to look for a midwife to help his young bride to give birth to Jesus, Time suddenly stops. Joseph invokes God asking him to let Time flow again... “He looks astounded up to the sky / Please, let the vertex unbind the hourglass from its stagnation...”.

“Deserto” (Desert) is a nice, ironic track inspired by the meeting between Jesus and Satan in the desert. The rhythm is slow, the sun shines on the dunes, the musical colours are evocative and full of nuances. The devil is tempting Jesus with false promises but he replies that it would be easier tempting him elsewhere, not in a desert where the illusions of the world are covered by the sand... “Come back when my feet will be washed by clear waters / Bring with you wider fishnets...”. A mocking nursery rhyme sung by some children concludes the piece.

“Il discorso della montagna” (Sermon on the mount) is divided in two parts. The first part is an instrumental introduction featuring a delicate, dreamy atmosphere, then the rhythm section and the guitar come in adding new colours. This piece was inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, one of the most widely quoted elements of the canonical Gospels but it’s prevalently instrumental. “Dig an abyss of want and set you foundation in it...”.

“La parabola del seminatore” (The parable of the sower) is a particular acoustic track settled on a street and according to the band they played it as buskers to set the right atmosphere. It was inspired by the Parable of the Sower and in some way tells about another presage. The last part features a narrative vocal part taken from the Gospel of St. Mark... “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” (Mark 4, 10-12).

“Maddalena” (Magdalene) is a delicate acoustic ballad inspired by the character of St. Mary Magdalene. The mood is romantic, the lyrics are hermetic... The memory of a kiss comes to mind in a stormy night as a vortex! The excellent last track “Ultima cena” (Last supper) recalls BMS and was inspired by the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus shared with his apostles before his crucifixion. A very good conclusion for an interesting work. Of course, the production is not perfect and there are many ingenuities but the overall result is not bad at all. The album is available in free legal download, so have a try and judge by yourselves. Click HERE

Synderesi: I.N.R.H. (2003). Other opinions:
Jim Russell: There is a definite avant-garde spirit to what the musicians consider a symphonic prog album and I believe that whatever they considered unfinished in the production adds to a somewhat mysterious, unsettling, and pleasantly disorienting haze... (Read the complete review HERE)

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