Album Review: Svengali // Sayonara

Based in Dubai, Svengali feature members from Iraq, Lebanon, India, and Iran. Inspired by a story of control with a darker intent, their name is an indication of their lyrics, with a refreshing thought process. Svengali explore the state of mind during an addiction relapse, losing identity, and overcoming adversity. The band will release debut album ‘Sayonara’ later this month.

‘Sayonara’ opens with pummeling, face-melting riffs. An example of this is ‘This Is Kombat’ because of its huge, furious breakdown. The album shines because Svengali have a good ear for melody. Alcatraz’ has a colossal riff which drives the song forward. ‘Breakaway’ mixes beautiful clean vocals with a fiery attitude. I think this works well because both parts complement each other very well.

On ‘Better Off’, the melodic moments on the album help it stand out. There is a guitar solo which is refreshing while ‘Freight Train’ is an adrenaline rush with crushing chugs. However, there are some tracks which need multiple listens to be appreciated. For example ‘Shedding Skin’, with its filthy riff, and while the blood curdling screams take a while to get used to, they suit the song nicely.

‘Labyrinth’ is the last song on the album. I think it is emotional and captures the best bit of Svengali’s sound. Svengali are heading for bigger things with ‘Sayonara’ because they have a passionate sound which resonates with the listener. It’s a brutal album that’ll appeal to anyone who loves metalcore.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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