Photon Records Reviews

Rychus Syn "Rebirth"
Some would argue that Heavy Metal is a lost art form, a musical genre past its peak, meandering in commercial limbo. Devotees continue to find solace in the soul of the music however, and the lessening popularity has weeded out obvious posers. Rychus Syn are metal veterans, and Rebirth is a testimonial to both their sheer dedication and skill.

The guitar and drum work on the introduction to "One Voice" could have easily landed on Metallica's prolific Kill Em All record. Dan Reid has dialed in the quintessential metal vocal, soaring with aggression and engaging hostility while retaining solid, musical tonalities. This band is, for lack of a better one-word description: Tight. "Power Thunder and Steel" hits like South of Heaven, but flows with a melodic wickedness like early, pre-VH1 behind the music Motley Crue. The musical combination serves as a splendid marriage of rhythm and power chords. "Chemical Warfare" continues this grand meeting of hard hitting sounds and fluid choruses. The Marines could use an anthem like this on the streets of Baghdad. Rychus Syn has created an album that not only sustains heavy metals attributes, but expands on them, creating a fresh new sound.

Artist: Rychus Syn
Title: Rebirth
Type: Album
Label: Photon Records

These New Yorker’s have been in the business for a while. Having formed back in 1983 and had a bootleg split EP circulated in 1989 (all 5 of those tracks are on this CD), a long hiatus brings us to the release of “Rebirth”. These guys contain themselves to a traditional heavy/speed/thrash genre whilst proudly stating no use of blastbeats and other modern attributes. These guys mean business, and with the professional promotional pack sent by the band, you know this to be true. Fanatical underground trading of their earlier efforts and constant appreciation by fans across the globe led the band to reinvent life into ‘Rychus Syn’, thank god they did!

Upon first listen, ‘One Voice’ reminds me of ‘Flotsam & Jetsam’, especially Dan Reid’s vocals, they also possess a fantastic range not heard much nowadays. It is remarkably like the ‘Cuatro’ era onwards of the aforementioned band. Progressive thrash is mixed with traditional heavy metal to good effect. Admittedly, it did take a few listens of the album to fully appreciate the music on offer, but it is truly worthy of good appraisal. ‘Shadow King’ and ‘Power, Thunder and Steel’ sit right up there with metal classics like ‘Natural Enemies’ (‘F&J’), whilst ‘Chemical Warfare’ (no it is not a ‘Slayer’ cover!) has a slight crossover vocal arrangement during the chorus. This is classic stuff.

There is no denying that there is talent in this band and lead guitarist Drew Maniscalco lays down some killer licks backed up by his brother Greg on drums. The production is a little muddy, you can tell it’s a retro approach; it could have done with being boosted a little bit during the mixing that would have given the tracks a greater in-your-face listen. There is nothing wrong with what is presented, it’s a good mix, but it shows weakness when you put it alongside the recent albums by ‘Exodus’ and ‘Testament’ (in production terms).

The latter three tracks (especially ‘Child of Mercy’ and ‘Asylum’) of the album are stand-out tracks, the arrangements are perfectly traversing with light and shade where appropriate.

This album balances itself out into a very enjoyable listen; it is a nice surprise to find a band of such quality in the monolithic scene that is Heavy Metal. I would recommend that you at least check them out on the internet and more to the point, make a purchase!

Rychus Syn "Rebirth"
This is heavy metal played the old way with no new sounds creeping in. This is the spikes and denim style of heavy metal and I loved it. No modern metal, no groove, no blast beats, just a pure heavy metal sound. There is not a lot of bands doing this style and it is cool bands like this are around keeping the sound alive. If you like bands like Deadly Blessing, you'll love this. I raise my fist to this and my hat goes off to them for playing pure heavy metal and avoiding the trends. - Metal To The Bone

Rychus Syn “Rebirth”
Today a tip for insiders again. This album is completely rooted within the 80ies. The album title speaks for itself. This band already had put out a Mini-LP back in 1989 that was also perpetuated on the Greek bootleg "Hard'n Heavy Vol.11". All in all this CD contains 10 tracks including the five tracks of the Mini-LP mentioned above but there are no musical differences to discover between the older and the newer tracks. Solid US Metal gently flatters the most important organ of a Metal Maniac (of course, it is impossible to fill in beer there). The first guitar riff of the song "One Voice" immediately brings Metallica to my mind. But don't worry, it is the only time, not the hundredth copy. Otherwise the songs are held in mid tempo like Metal Church and Co. Guess that should be reason enough for every old-school Metal Maniac to add this CD to his collection.Of course, newcomers are welcome as well.
- RonJacMetal, Metal-Rules

Rychus Syn - Rebirth
Photon Records
One of my favorite aspects of the renewed vitality of the U.S. metal underground in recent years is that many bands from days of yore are reforming and releasing quality material. This phenomenon has applied to a wide range of bands, from the notorious to the obscure. To be sure, some of these reunions are both ill-advised and farcical, but in other cases it has been a gift to 80s metalheads to revisit legendary acts of yesteryear and to discover worthy bands who slipped through the cracks the first time around. New York's Rychus Syn fall into the latter category for me. Founded in 1983, Rychus Syn released a cult 5-song self-titled mini-LP on Azra/Iron Works Records in 1989. Sadly, this release remained under the radar for me, and Rychus Syn disbanded shortly thereafter. In 2006, however, core members Drew Maniscalco (guitars) and his brother Greg Maniscalco (drums) resuscitated Rychus Syn, infused with a renewed vigor courtesy of new blood in the form of members Dan Reid (vocals) and Damone (bass). Pursuant to that reunion, the band decided to re-record the classic tracks from the obscure mini-LP, and to record another 5 previously unreleased songs from the Rychus Syn vaults. The finished product, appropriately titled 'Rebirth', is out now.

Promotional materials for Rychus Syn characterize the band as heavy/speed metal, a mix of old Metallica and Black Sabbath. While such descriptors are not entirely unfounded, they are not particularly precise either. A more apt comparison would be to fellow New Yorkers Attacker, or perhaps even bands like Meliah Rage or Metal Church. Think dark crunchy classic-styled U.S. heavy metal, with snappy, compact songs and strong vocal melodies, and you'll be in the neighborhood. Vocalist Reid has a powerful, clean mid-range voice that complements the songs well, sounding a bit like Paul Souza (ex-Meliah Rage) or maybe even Cage's Sean Peck (mid-range only, no air-raid siren screams here). All 10 songs have an undeniable 80s air to them, but utilizing today's recording techniques for a richer, fuller, heavier sound. I've never heard the original versions of these songs, of course, but to my ears it sounds like the Maniscalco brothers have stubbornly resisted any temptation to incorporate modern elements into the tunes or to tinker with the arrangements in such a way as to dampen their authenticity. Interestingly, all 10 tracks clock in at under 4-1/4 minutes, with 8 of them not even hitting the 4-minute mark. Yet all of the songs feel fully developed and straight to the point, so it's not as if Rychus Syn are offering us mere song fragments that weren't fully fleshed out. The clear standout track is "Power, Thunder and Steel", which delivers a monumental chorus and features a killer sturdy main riff. Really, though, all of the songs are worthy and will be of interest to 80s U.S. metal maniacs. Speed addicts may be a bit disappointed because the material is mostly of the pounding midtempo variety. In truth, this very good CD would have been rendered even stronger had the band worked in some more variation in speeds, as a few kick-in-the-pants barnstormers would have been welcome.

The bottom line is simple: Rychus Syn are purveyors of high-quality no-frills U.S. metal from the 80s with a punchy and effective production. Those of you who, like me, are fond of that style will find much to enjoy in this 35-minute CD. By contrast, those who long for symphonic keyboard trills, soaring 8-minute epics, or bursts of speed may be best served by looking elsewhere for their metal fix. Personally, I'm most grateful that the band decided to have another go at it, because it would be a shame to relegate these worthy songs and strong performances to the dustbin of obscurity. I am hopeful that 'Rebirth' is precisely as its title suggests, and that the Maniscalco brothers will go on to write more new chapters in the Rychus Syn saga (with the fantastic Reid behind the microphone) in the years to come.
-Kit, Metal CD Ratings (3.5 / 5)

Rychus Syn - Rebirth
Photon Records
Total Time: 34:57
It was quite a big surprise for me to track down a CD by Rychus Syn from Long Island, NY, USA. I was aware only of their self titled EP released somewhere in the end of the 80s so their Rebirth CD was a quite nice shot of music for those, including me. Who thought that the music of this band was good, but never enough. Ok, for sure they are not the most popular band in the world but their Heavy / Speed Metal, but their music deserves a listening and I am sure that after you check this album out it will be one of your top selection when you want something fast, wild and heavy. Unstoppable riffing, killer guitar leads, power screaming vocals and a hammering rhythm section are the main features of Rychus Syn's music. I guess that you do not need more, don't you? Well do not waste your time, go and check this CD, you will stick into it for sure!
Chris Papadakis-Metal Invader

Power/Thrash Metal

So macht eine Reunion doch mal Spaß!! Rychus Syn stammen aus den USA wurden 1983 von den Brüdern Drew und Greg Maniscalo gegründet. 1987 veröffentlichte die Band ihr erstes Demotape, ein Jahr später folgte die EP "License To Kill" auf Azra Records und wieder zwei Jahre später, also Anfang der 90er, kam es dann zur vorläufigen Auflösung der Gruppe aufgrund von musikalischen Differenzen.

Zwar konnte wenig später ein neuer Sänger und ein weiterer Gitarrist gefunden werden, jedoch hielt sich dieses neue Lineup ebenfalls nicht allzu lange und so kam Mitte der 90er das endgültige aus für Rychus Syn.

Im Jahre 2006 holten die beiden Maniscalo-Brüder dann jedoch Sänger Dan Reid und Basser Damone zurück in ihre Reihen, um noch einmal an alte Glanztaten anzuknüpfen und dem Namen Rychus Syn neues Leben einzuhauchen.... herausgekommen ist dabei das erste Vollzeitalbum der Band, welches passenderweise den Namen "Rebirth" trägt und neben den Neueinspielungen von fünf alten Demotracks auch fünf weitere Stücke enthält, die bereits Anfang der 90er geschrieben, jedoch erst im Zuge der "Rebirth"-Sessions erstmals auf Konserve gebannt wurden.

Und was soll ich sagen, wer auch immer auf explosiven Oldschool Thrash und pfundigen Power Metal der Marke Flotsam & Jetsam, Final Axe, Rellik, Iced Earth und early Metallica steht, der ist bei diesem Album genau an der richtigen Adresse!! Rychus Syn klingen wirklich haargenau so als wären die letzten 20 Jahre Musikgeschichte spurlos an ihnen vorbeigezogen und beim Anhören dieser knallharten Metaldampfwalze namens "Rebirth" fühlt man sich unweigerlich ins Jahr 1987 zurückversetzt, als Bands wie Intruder, Testament, Overkill und Laaz Rockit mit Kultalben wie "Live To Die", "The Legacy", "Taking Over" und "Know Your Enemie" jenseits des großen Teiches ein metallenes Inferno sondergleichen entfacht hatten!!

Rychus Syn schmieden nicht nur höllische Riffs und lassen eine kraftstrotzende Oldschoolhymne nach der anderen vom Stapel, sondern darüber hinaus haben sie mit Dan Reid auch einen exzellenten Frontmann in ihren Reihen, der mich hin und wieder ein bisschen an Brian Ross von der NWOBHM-Legende Blitzkrieg erinnert!!

Die Produktion von "Rebirth" ist ebenfalls ziemlich fett, das Totenkopfcover nett anzusehen und das Aufklappcover mit sämtlichen Texten ausgestattet, so dass man hier nur von einem rundum gelungenen Release sprechen kann, mit dem sich Rychus Syn hoffentlich auf Anhieb in die Herzen sämtlicher Metalfans dieses Planeten zocken werden. Diese Band hat es wirklich noch 100% drauf und ich hoffe, dass diese vier Ausnahmethrasher in absehbarer Zeit vielleicht sogar mal zu uns herüberfliegen und Riffmonster wie "One Voice", "Power, Thunder And Steel" oder "Contentes Under Pressure" auf den Bühnen von Kultfestivals wie dem KIT oder dem HOA zum Besten geben werden!!. -Toby, Metal Coven

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