Sole Syndicate
Last Days of Eden

Label: Scarlet Records
Three similar bands: Van Halen/Europe/Thin Lizzy

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Wake Up
02. …And The Truth Will Set You Free
03. We All Fall Apart
04. Glory Days
05. We Came To Rock
06. Brothers
07. Pain Is Only An Illusion
08. Have You Heard It All Before
09. Bring Us A Hero
10. When Darkness Calls

Jonas Månsson - Vocals
Niklas Strandanäs - Guitars
Dennis Heltorp - Guitars
David Gustafsson - Bass
Henrik Zetterlund - Drums

Garden Of Eden (2016)


Recorded at Syndicate Studios and mixed and mastered by Martin Kronlund at JM Studios
Artwork by Patrik Lindström

Released 2020-11-06
Reviewed 2021-02-14

scarlet records

läs på svenska

When I read what Scarlet Records says about Sole Syndicate’s second album Last Days of Eden, I find that I have to look closer at that. They say that their lyrics deal with everything from the state of the world address, politically and environmentally, to the most traditional “rock poetry”. The title of the exciting new album is a reference to what´s happening right now with the ongoing pandemic, rising crime and political instability. You know, rising crime and political instability depends on where in the world you are. They are Swedes so I am not that surprised that there is a mention of rising crime (might be just from Scarlet though) as many Swedes according to the yearly survey by the crime preventing agency (BRÅ) believe that crime is rising when it, in fact (according to statistics), has been stagnant for about a decade. There are parts of the world where crime is going down and politics stabilising as well, so how you see these things depends on where you are and what glasses you wear. The real effects of the pandemic are still difficult to know, but it is not far-fetched to guess that it will have negative impacts for lots of people.

I have been lazily listening to the lyrics of this album and as much as I can agree with some of it like anti-war stuff, to mention one thing, I don’t think it differs that much from the usual rock nonsense. They staple clichés as well, and I think a critical and insightful overview of the world is not found here – still, it is fun when rockers try to do anything other than knights in shining armour and love stuff so a plus for that. When looking at the music I think that it is rooted in classic eighties hard rock but with some other touches widening the scope, the modern metal edge they have makes the album seem quite fresh while still retaining that nostalgic touch that rockers seem to adore so much.

Singer Månsson is great and probably the strongest feat of this album. The songs are ranging from dull like Glory Days to excellent like … And the Truth Will Set You Free. It is an album that is a bit of a mixed bag, something I have seen other reviewers claim as well, with some excellence mixed with some less excellent stuff. Some of the songs lack the edge and the charming hooks that Scarlet writes about, there are some but they are probably in about half of the songs. Same with the sparkling guitar solos that I read about, there are some but not many. The superb vocals are closest, I think that the problem this album seems to have is that it feels rushed – as they can do excellent songs it leads me to believe that they haven’t written enough and selected enough to fill the album with great tracks, they wrote some great songs and then just added some fillers to make an album.

Should you get this album? Well, it might be wiser to buy a few tracks, probably cheaper too. I will probably keep four or five tracks, the first three are good and the ending one – perhaps one from the middle, but then throw the rest of the tracks away from my music library. I think that this album has its moments, but it is not like waking up to a revolution, and there are better sources for insightful commentary on the state of the world today.