Sonic Syndicate - Sonic Syndicate

Sonic Syndicate - Sonic Syndicate

(CD, Nuclear Blast USA, 2014)

SONIC SYNDICATE quickly caught my attention with their debut release “Eden Fire” during a time period when the Swedish melodic Death Metal was blossoming seeing many new bands trying to get a piece of the pie that IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY had baked (with great success I should add). Anyway, SONIC SYNDICATE did an equally good follow-up album and then something happened and the band sounded like it had lost its bearing, resulting into two rather mediocre LPs. The story tells that the Swedes went into hiatus with quite a few lineup changes but 2014 sees a new album/return happening, simply entitled “Sonic Syndicate”.

Yes, I used to like SONIC SYNDICATE but I quickly lost interest mainly due to - what it seemed to me - the intent to become more mainstream and consequently more successful. Still, I was surprised to see a new album from the Swedes and to some extent, I was excited to see how this band has (or hasn’t grown) after all these years. “Day Of The Dead” opens the album and kind of states that the “We Rule The Night” days are in the past. This is an aggressive and dark song that checks all the requirements of the Swedish modern melodic Death Metal. There is a lot of groove and very good riff action, while the vocals are the classic mix between harsh and clean ones. I guess this album is an attempt from SONIC SYNDICATE to reintroduce their music to the Metal scene and maybe reestablish their melodic Death Metal ID. Sure, this type of Metal does not leave too much space for a band to move, so this is why almost all the albums sound alike. But if you are a fan of this sound, then “Sonic Syndicate” will surely satisfy your hunger, especially with the nice melodic breaks as it happens in “Black Hole Halo” and in “Catching Fire” (love the IN FLAMES-esque singing in the beginning), although I have to admit that the clean singing of the latter reminded me of PAPA ROACH. The heavier stuff are in “My Revenge” where the experienced ear may track down some of the darkness DARK TRANQUILLITY have, and in the groovier (than the rest) “Long Road Home” where I have to give additional credit to the fast main riff. The keyboards are subtle but occasionally step to the front, enhancing the dark and rather post-apocalyptic atmosphere and you can use “It Takes” as fine example of my saying. As you probably have heard, SOILWORK’s frontman Björn “Speed” Strid makes a guest-singing appearance in “Before You Finally Break” that easily claims the title of the best song of the tracklist, shining through the SCAR SYMMETRY-like groove and the aggression of the lead guitars.

Yeah, SONIC SYNDICATE have made their music heavier and maybe for this, they deserve a second chance. Of course, this album is not breaking new grounds but wears all the striking influences on its sleeve, so if this is your cup of tea, then you should at least check it out. This album managed to put SONIC SYNDICATE under my radar, so I will keep tracking their discographic steps and see where they lead them.

6/10


Links:

www.SonicSyndicate.Net
www.MySpace.Com/SonicSyndicate
www.FaceBook.Com/SonicSyndicateBand
www.Twitter.Com/SoSyOfficial


Tracklist:

01. Day Of The Dead
02. Black Hole Halo
03. Long Road Home
04. My Revenge
05. Before You Finally Break
06. Catching Fire
07. Unbreakable
08. It Takes Me
09. See What I See
10. So Addicted
11. The Flame That Changed The World


Lineup:

Karin Axelsson - Bass
Robin Sjunnesson - Guitar, Harsh Vocals
John Bengtsson - Drums
Nathan James Biggs - Vocals