The past few years we have seen revival tendencies for several sub-genres of metal. Orthodox Norwegian black and the 90s Greek black metal style are, naturally, among these. Synteleia and their debut demo “Astral Blasphemies” are part of the above-mentioned revival wave.
The band doesn’t pretend to be something else. They clearly state their influences (Rotting Christ, Varathron, Necromantia etc.), but even if they didn’t it would take us 2-3 minutes of listening to understand what their music style is. Pure black metal, 90s Greek scene style, the era some bands started playing in a different, compared to the classic black metal way, sound.
Synteleia follow a well-known music path without, fortunately, falling in the trap of copying/repeating older bands. And that is the main problem reviving older genres, for every 10 new bands only 2 or 3 will have something to add to a style that has already been listened to many times (sometimes too many).
Songs that are not too long, with fast and slower parts, without any special or long intros but full of darkness, just as befits a release like that. The intro of “Synteleia has Come”, the first track of the demo, is characteristic. It lasts just 10 seconds with the band getting to the main part of the song at the right time and not a moment too late. Their lyrics are a big plus for me as their songs are about Cthulhu Mythos (it is a known fact that I love that lyric theme). But my feelings for that theme is not the only reason that I consider their lyrics a big plus. After all these years black metal has overcome its need for “satanic” themes and has been exploring other darker paths with Synteleia being a modern band (at list lyric-wise).
Reviewing (and having to “grade”) a release like Synteleia’s demo is as hard as it is for a band like this to not fall to the above-mentioned trap of copying older bands. If you are a fan of this particular sound I can’t but highly recommend them. If on the other hand you prefer a more modern sound things get a little bit more complicated because you may not appreciate them as much as they deserve (but I would still recommend to give them a chance). The only thing that is certain is that if this demo was released during the 90s we would feel awe and we would be talking about the next big band of the scene.