By: Daniela Patrizi

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Released on September 16, 2016 via Consouling Sounds

The long wait after Now and Forever is finally over. Syndrome are back with Forever and a Day, another one-track release that is sublime.

Syndrome is the project of Amenra guitarist Mathieu Vandekerckhove, and his solo work is completely different from what he does with the Belgian band but his acoustic, slow, minimalistic sound hits as hard as the most aggressive Amenra songs do. The intimacy, depth and melancholy that he channels through his music is very powerful and it’s hard to remain untouched by it.

Forever and a Day is one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard this year. It’s dense, extremely emotional and it kills me every time I listen to it. Lay down, close your eyes, press play and the music will wrap you like a soft blanket. Slowly it will come through your skin and you’ll feel it belongs to you and vice versa.

The paradox of writing about music is the difficulty to find the right words to describe something that you like so much. I feel Forever and a Day so close to me, it hits so much that every words seems the wrong one. I still remember when I saw Syndrome playing live at Dunk!Festival some years ago. The bleak and introspective 28 minutes of Now and Forever where absolutely amazing and people was completely captured by them. While Now and Forever was dedicated to the artist’s son, Forever and a Day seems to be written as if to console his loved ones from beyond the grave.

The new album follows the same path of the previous release with a mesmerising blend of drone, post rock and ambient music. Forever and a Day is a track in two movements. It kicks off with minimal beats that are soon joined by a melancholic acoustic guitar and gentle electronic hints. The sound builds up and slowly takes you into a new tense, droning atmosphere. It’s as though you are in a missile and at a certain point you find yourself close to the sun, it’s burning, there’s light everywhere and you feel like your cabin is about to explode. The curtain goes down at the 10th minute when a clean and melodic guitar line creates small rays of light in some post apocalyptic darkness. The sound is warm and comforting, you don’t feel alone anymore and the melody at the 11th minute is incredibly beautiful. When the vocals kick in Mathieu Vandekerckhove takes you into another world. It’s a dark and romantic moment and the electronic atmosphere in the background combines with an ethereal chorus to make the whole piece feel sombre and solemn.

This way Syndrome talks directly to your heart. It’s a one to one relationship, between you and the artist, you and the music, you and yourself.

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