RYCHUS SYN, The Rebirth (2008, Photon)

The skull:
This bit of stonework depicts a frightening vampire skull in the middle of a salad binge. He’s totally going to town on those baby bok choy, and there’s a mound of spinach under his chin that he’s about to devour. This guy is so consumed with veglust that leafy greens appear (demonically) to be sprouting from his face. It makes sense, really: a diet so heavy in blood (particularly that of your average American, thick as it is with cholesterol and saturated fats) would probably condemn you to an eternity on the toilet if you didn’t supplement your sanguinary intake with an extraordinary amount of roughage. You never hear about this side of vampires, but this is exactly why I never go to night-time farmers markets. You’re just asking for it at those. If you have to go, stick close to that bearded guy with the table full of organic heirloom garlic.

The music:
Rychus Syn were one of hundreds of small time bands who pressed an EP on wax in the 80s only to vanish immediately, and as was often the case, that EP was released on Azra Records, who were pretty much a clearing house for bands about to die. Now, it could hardly be said that the world was clamoring for a Rychus Syn reunion, but I guess some of the guys kept in touch and nearly 20 years after the release of their debut EP, they reconvened to record this comeback disc. Honestly, it’s not terrible, but it’s not exactly essential. I’m reminded of a lot of 4th tier melodic metal bands from the 80s, but to give you a sense of scale, here are some similar bands who were quite a bit better than Rychus Syn: Steel Assassin, Gargoyle, Saint, Tyrant, etc. You get the point. I can’t be certain (because I don’t have the lyrics and I can’t be bothered to figure them out), but this definitely has the feel of Christian metal, and the name (which I assume is meant to be pronounced like “Righteous Sin”) suggests the same, and I can easily imagine this coming out in 1993 on Rex. But, this is well played and well sung, and while the songs tends to inhabit a pretty narrow range of tempos (which consigns them to a certain saminess), if you’re a serious lover of American power metal, then this might be of minor interest to you. I certainly have lesser crap in my collection.
— Friar Johnsen

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