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Album Reviews : M0DAL1TY – Synthes1s

By on January 16, 2019

Man, these guys move quickly. Less than a year after the untimely demise of Melbourne band Branch Arterial, two of the members, frontman Nigel Jackson and drummer Adam Zaffarese, have put together a whole new band and written and recorded a five track EP. Great going.

Has the quality suffered? Does it sound a little rushed? Not on your life. It sounds assured, it sounds confident, it sounds like they knew exactly what they were doing and they didn’t piss around, they just got on and did it. And did it rather well.

This is the type alternative-tinged progressive rock that Australia has become world famous for over the last 10-15 years, the type championed by the likes of Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus. There are traces of said acts and scene, and certainly some of the aesthetic of Jackson and Zaffarese’s former band remains, but M0DAL1TY is its own beast, has its own identity, at the same time. In a nutshell, if you like any of the three mentioned bands, and the scene they form part of, you will like this. But you will find something different as well.

The songs are strong (especially Art1fic1al 1ntell1gence), the riffs and grooves rock, the choruses soar and the musicianship and production are top notch. I love the fact that there are tasteful lead guitar breaks here, something bands of this ilk often shy away from. I love the fact that during D1sconnect, the music stops and Jackson howls ‘FUCK THE SYSTEM!’ Then the song goes into a sweet, chilly ambient interlude. Beautifully done.

And probably the best thing about it all is that this is just the beginning. They have laid some very strong groundwork here, and the upside for these guys and gals to do it even better next time is immense.

I cannot wait to hear what this band comes up with next and I cannot wait to see them do it live. Synthes1s is a smashing debut EP, get on it.

Band: M0DAL1TY
Album: Synthes1s
Year: 2018
Genre: Progressive/alternative rock
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.