Album: The Graveyard Compilation
Label: Cold Transmission
Members: Luna Blanc and Josh Clark
Do you know that feeling when you watch a truly suspenseful horror film? The first time you saw Suspiria, or The Exorcist. When you are gripping the edge of your chair uncomfortable, unnerved, feeling your heart race faster in your chest but you can’t look away. You know this is just a film and not happening to you but are still overcome with a terrifying dread that the world is monstrous and mysterious. That you might not have as firm a grasp on what is real as you thought you did? That is what I felt the first time I heard Washington DC TerrorElectroGoth band SYZYGYX.
SYZYGYX is An astronomical term denoting the disposition of three celestial bodies on a line. This is an incredibly deep and bad ass band name. This album is a compilation of “Broken Mirrors” EP (Burning Grave Records), “Encounters” EP (Cold Transmission), and “Is That All There Is” (Burning Grave Records). ” A very impressive body of work that all has an extremely avant garde tactile feel that creates a wonderful range in style and structure over the course of one collection. There are some elements of this unique sound that really tie everything together. For one Luna has such a wispy sensual voice that is full of haunted beauty. The music isn’t edgy or industrial, it has a medium pace dance beat. With a lot of subtle percussion notes to build tension and add flavor. The synth sounds are so wide ranging and expressive. When Josh adds in contrasting resonant monotone driving vocals it creates a dialog. A superb and fringe effect.
I really enjoy a band that makes higher concepts and chic visual sound feel so effortless. When cool has a sound. How could you get Ladytron and The Goblins to create a soundtrack for a Italian horror film set in the New York club scene? To me that was the clashing contrast of elegance in SYZYGYX.
With 16 tracks that were chosen as standouts from the EPs it’s hard to pick favorites but lets give it a go.
Avoid the Void – Luna’s gentle whisper over this lancing synth sound. The snapping drums. There is something so Siren like in her calling voice. “You’re nothing, you are a waste of skin” I can’t argue. I think this song really struck me for the subtle touches which is what the band does so effectively.
Velvet Lips – What an offbeat and interesting phrasing on the vocals. The drums seem almost at odds with the melody creating this terrifying tension. Shrieking background sounds and subtle hints of beauty to the dark and sinister texture. The bridge change up almost feels like throwing the song in reverse while going 60 mph. It jars me, it captures me, it leaves me transfixed and wondering. The ending drum beats are like metal bars on steel drums and have this infinitely east coast alley feel.
Runaways – The closer is the perfect encapsulation of what this album is working towards. Luna’s voice is bouncing between her sharp stabbing and her breathy soothing. The Synths have a continual build. It definitely feels like running away from something but with no destination in mind. The voices of consequence on your shoulder calling you towards a change. Then the vocals become clear and the synth becomes a spaceship taking the journey to a strange and foreign place.
Overall the album is vast, hard to place in a box, and sinister. That’s what I felt made me love it more and more. Each block of songs stepped outside themselves and the whole of the sound stepped outside of the norm. It’s strange, it’s beautiful, it’s thought provoking. This is music for a private dance party not everyone is invited to. An intimate music. A puzzle to be solved together.