Sonic Syndicate - Only Inhuman

1. Aftermath
2. Blue Eyed Fiend
3. Psychic Suicide
4. Double Agent 616
5. Enclave
6. Denied
7. Callous
8. Only Inhuman
9. All About Us
10. Unknown Entity
11. Flashback

Roland Johansson (V)
Richard Sjunnesson (V)
Roger Sjunnesson (G)
Robin Sjunnesson (G)
John bengtsson (D)
Karin Axelsson (B)

Eden Fire (2005)

Recording info:
Jonas Kjellgren (prod.)
Patric Ullaeus (video director)
Koma-Design (cover)

nuclear blast

By winning the Nuclear Blast competition about a record deal earlier this year, Sonic Syndicate have gained a lot of attention and have been seen almost everywhere. But the questions is if they desvere it at all?

With their two vocalists (both male) and their three siblings of Sjunnesson brothers, this band is definitly not like everyone else. Add to that their female base player and Sonic Syndicate on the surface may seem like an original band, easy to separate from the rest. Too bad is only that the music doesn’t make the same impression of originality. If this is the best of all the 1500 bands attending in the Nuclear Blast competition, then at least I am a little worried about the new generation of hard rock.

Please missunderstand me correct now, I don’t dislike Sonic Syndicate and think they play poor music, but no way in hell that this was the best?! It’s so much Scar Symmetry over it, Gothenburgh death or Finish death that we’ve already heard so many times already, from bands like Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity and Amorphis (three bands also featuring in this issue of Hallowed, that’s why I picked them). Sure, Sonic Syndicate is honestly more radio friendly than these bands and their, as they them selfs call it, “ballad” Enclaved is really nice and probably appeal a pretty bug crowd. Also their second video song, Denied, is really good. But after that, it feels as if they were playing the same song over and over.

This is an album mixed for radio, death metal of the melodic way. The song mixes clear vocals with screaming and growling, made wih excelancy and high grades. The guitars appears to be showed to the side, they drown in each other and with the base and disappears in the vocals. This is a shame, conisdering how for example Denied sounds – they can be really good when they are to be heard. Getting a whole lot more space is the base, maybe not so strange considering how pretty its performer is (at least compared to the competition with most metal base players), but it feels fare. The base is played well and becomes much more than something for rhythm as it is in most bands. I think that the base tunes are the single individual performance I likle best in Sonic Syndicate. As a whole, they work good as well – but it would have been better if the guitars hadn’t been so degraded by it.

As I said, the songs are wery much similar to each other. Time to time, I check the display to insure myself the CD haven’t jumped back a song or two, only to my disapointment discover it is another song, but not a new song. Not surprising, this is where the albums falls. If it’s to be intresting in the long run, it have to feel uniqe, fresh and exciting – but it’s neither of these when all song are quite the same. Live it’s more forgiving, there the two vocalists encurage the audience so much you don’t even think about it, but on an album they need a bigger variation.

However, I can see Sonic Syndicate winning a big audience with this album. It may remind of things we’ve heard before, but it’s no xerox. It’s well played, but the songs lack of character – not counting Enclaved, a song they surely will gain a lot of fans with. To the next album, I’d like to see more uniqe material and a transfer of their live energy to the album. Then they also might earn the big crowd they’ll gain with this album.

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Label - Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands - In Flames/Scar Symmetry/Soilwork
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm