Live in the Heart of Helsinki

01. This Momentary Bliss
02. Like The Average Stalker
03. Overload
04. Weapon Of Vanity
05. Spectrum Of Eternity
06. Follow The Hollow
07. Parasite Blues
08. Distortion Sleep
09. Bastard Chain
10. Let This River Flow (feat. Floor Jansen)
11. Long Live The Misanthrope
12. Tongue
CD 2
13. Nerve
14. The Chainheart Machine
15. The Living Infinite I
16. Rise Above The Sentiment
17. Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
18. Rejection Role
19. Black Star Deceiver (feat. Nathan J. Biggs)
20. As The Sleeper Awakes
21. Sadistic Lullabye
22. As We Speak
23. Stabbing The Drama

Björn Strid – Vocals
Sylvain Coudret – Guitar
David Andersson – Guitar
Ola Flink – Bass
Sven Karlsson – Keyboards, Samples
Dirk Verbueren – Drums

Steelbath Suicide (1998)
The Chainheart Machine (2000)
A Predator's Portrait (2001)
Natural Born Chaos (2002)
Figure Number Five (2003)
Stabbing the Drama (2005)
Sworn to a Great Divide (2007)
The Panic Broadcast (2010)
The Living Infinite (2013)

Floor Jansen - vocals
Nathan J. Biggs - vocals

Produced by Jouni Markkanen and directed by Ville Lipiäinen

Released 2015-03-13
Reviewed 2015-02-17
nuclear blast

Sonic Syndicate are for the first time in their fairly long career releasing a live video on DVD or Blu-Ray depending on which you prefer. They have gone to Helsinki and the heart of that city to record that show and they have done so with many songs from their whole career as well as some prominent guests to spice up the show even more. The films also contains some behind the scenes documentaries about the bands and their stuff, something for the one who wants to get to know the band a bit deeper.

The band is a melodic death metal band having gone from being fairly death metallic to more melodic, kind of like the In Flames journey but maybe not as dramatic as them. They can be compared with countrymen of Sonic Syndicate and Scar Symmetry if you want more references. It is not the most unique brand of music these days but the band can be said to be one of the early guys debuting at the end of the last millennium. And there have been some albums since then and now also a live video that of course is something each and every band seems to be releasing these days.

This is a tribute to their music over the years, the show is well recorded musically and the sound is pretty great – in many regards I think they sound better than they do on most of their records. Though I cannot be said to be the one who knows this band the best but I have heard all their albums so I am not unfamiliar with their music and recognise the songs they do play on the show. One thing I do reflect over when listening to the songs is that they have very long gaps between songs at quite a few places over the album, especially the long babble about the live film and such is a bit tiresome for the video viewer and probably even more so for the one listening to the show on CD. They could have cut a little bit in those gaps to make the album a bit more dynamic and keep the tempo up quite a bit. The songs are great though; just some small niggles with the overall picture.

The video is less good to me, the filming is a bit stale and could have been a lot more dynamic in cutting and with today’s technology there are a lot more possibilities to exploit when filming but I don’t really think that they really utilise any of these possibilities. I would want more interesting angles, faster cutting, more dramatic cutting as well, also the colour scheme is a bit pale kind of like the Meshuggah video I watched some time ago, the same kind more or less, the same static look. We have all seen it before and for those not really into the bands it becomes quite dreary to see again and again. So, the filming is not exciting enough – at least not to me.

There is a quite extensive documentary material that takes us behind the scenes in interviews and following the band around to different places. I think that this documentary stuff is a lot more interesting than the show itself, it is always fun to meet a band behind the scenes like that and for anyone who is slightly interested in the life of a band there are some great insights in these documents which is great. So it is a fairly enjoyable release despite the fact that the video of the show itself isn’t that exciting.

For fans of Soilwork I would think that this is a must-have, for the rest of us with a more superficial interest in this band, it may not be as interesting but then again I guess one could wait a few years and pick it up really cheap of some bargain shelf somewhere, like I did recently with a few great albums I have reviewed over the years, picking them up for almost nothing. If I find this blu-ray at that kind of discount somewhere in a few years from now, I will pick it up, it is good enough for that. But buying it now for full price is too much for me; the video is not good enough. The songs however are pretty great and pretty amusing to listen to, so I think they have made a pretty good live recording but not exciting enough for me, as an outside observer, to really enjoy fully.



Label: Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands: Sonic Syndicate/
Scar Symmetry/In Flames
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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