Sole Syndicate
Into the Flames

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

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Forsaken
02. Count to Zero
03. Brave Enough
04. Shadow of My Love
05. Miss Behave
06. Dust of Angels
07. Sunset Strip
08. Do You Believe
09. In the Absence of Light
10. Freak Like Me
11. Back Against the Wall
12. Into the Flames

Jonas Månsson - vocals and guitar
Katja Rasila - keyboards and vocals
David Gustafsson - bass and vocals
Henrik Zetterlund - drums

Garden Of Eden (2016)

Last Days of Eden (2020)


Recorded at Syndicate Studios
Mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio
Artwork by Jonas “Urna” Beijer

Released 2022-06-17
Reviewed 2022-07-25

scarlet records

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I reviewed Sole Syndicate’s previous album a year or so ago, and I wasn’t overly impressed with it – quite an average release, I think. Scarlet (who has some brilliant albums released this year) claims that the previous album was brilliant. When I was visiting the band’s website, I see that they have listed many positive reviews of the new album. Curious as I am as to why different reviewers think as they do I visit the first one, who gave them 10/10. I viewed ten reviews on that site and 40% was 10/10, If I reviewed like that, I would have given about 70 albums a 7/7 rating this year. I don’t trust sites that give so many top ratings, one or two in a year perhaps not in less than a month. So, I scrolled the web some more and one of the more notorious overraters gave this one a rather low rating, and there were more that was slightly less positive. So, what do I think? I don’t base my opinion on what I read from others, as I have already made up my opinion when I start researching.

This is heavier than the previous album, a sound that I think fits the band well, they are improved by heavier sound. It is fairly traditional heavy rock music, nothing that stands out much in regard to the style. The singer is good, but some of his English is a bit off, he sings carbon dioxide in one of the tracks and the pronunciation is quite funny, though I think he may be adjusting for the flow of the song – let’s say that he does. The variation over the album is okay, but it is a tad long. They sing about political themes like war, mental health, environment, and social injustices, good subjects – but also performed so you don’t really notice much of the themes unless you really listen for them. But they are important subjects, what if we don’t start acting to save our environment? The flaming Earth on the cover might be quite right.

Stylewise it isn’t an album that stands out, Sole Syndicate doesn’t reinvent the heavier rock music, they don’t take it a step further in terms of quality either. We have heard what Sole Syndicate does before, and it has been done better. But if you still decide to buy this from the Scarlet store, I advise to pick up the latest efforts by Fellowship and Trick or Treat as well to get something great out of your purchase. Not that Into the Flames is bad or anything, it is just one more album that lacks outstanding songs, that lacks original ideas, and that is missing personality. I hear so many albums like this one that it gets ever more impossible to tell them apart, they all sound the same: soulless, undramatic, well-made, decent enough to give a spin, but a complete waste of money as it is only the great albums you will play anyway. Sole Syndicate takes a step forward, I think they should explore this heavier sound more, but also dare to think outside the box – it doesn’t matter if you know all the secrets of the greatest past and present rock and metal bands. Their secrets are already used, too many times already – if you want to make something great you need to invent something new.