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Sonic Syndicate: Only Inhuman

Sweden's Sonic Syndicate burst on the scene back in 2004 with their debut release Eden Fire on Pivotal Records, which quickly gave their brand of Gothenburg styled melodic death metal meets American hardcore a real jump start. Fast forward now to 2007, and the band has just signed with Nuclear Blast Records for their release of Only Inhuman. Produced by Jonas Kjellgren, who recently worked with Scar Symmetry, Only Inhuman is a stunning collection of stylish metal, at times bordering on flashy metalcore, but with just enough of the Swedish sound, as well as some progressive elements, to please fans who like a lot of variety in their music.

First and foremost, it's the melodies that this band push here, giving each song a memorable feel that's not unlike recent releases from bands like Soilwork, In Flames, Scar Symmetry, Killswitch Engage, and Mercenary. Songs like "Aftermath", "Psychic Suicide", and the title track are just bursting with energy and soaring melodies that are instantly memorable. More than half of the six members add vocals (and there are two lead singers here), so the range of clean and growled vocals is quite rich, with plenty of backing harmonies. The guitar work is crisp throughout, and although the band doesn't partake in many solos, the riffs are heavy and at times have a slight technical edge. Plenty of simmering keyboards float about the mix, and the rhythms are solid.

While Eden Fire might have been a bit more impressive from a musical standpoint, there's no denying that Sonic Syndicate have made it a point to write songs that are more commercially appealing here. With a label like Nuclear Blast behind them, my guess is there will be a strong push to get this band cracked in the US metal market, and there are plenty of catchy and melodic metal songs here to work with as they go about doing so.


Track Listing
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

Added: November 27th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Sonic Syndicate Website
Hits: 1984
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Sonic Syndicate: Only Inhuman
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-11-27 13:36:33
My Score:

Ahhhh, ya gotta love the Swedish Metal scene! Sweden has been the be all & end all of Metal for yours truly, for at least 10 years now. The Gothenburg sound make famous by In Flames & Soilwork and fore fathers the mighty Meshuggah is alive and well with newcomers Sonic Syndicate and their 2nd release Only Inhuman (Nuclear Blast). Combining the best of the fore mentioned gods, Sonic Syndicate bring their version of Melodic Metalcore up a notch with this latest release.

Sonic Syndicate are fueled by the 3 Sjunnesson brothers (Richard-vocals, Roger-guitar & Robin-guitar) along with co-vocalist Roland Johnasson, awesome drummer John Bengtsson and bass player & sure to be the next Pin up Metal Mistress, Karin Axelsson. Yes guys & girlies, she is THAT hott!!

For those keeping track, the last names of ALL 6 members of Sonic Syndicate, end in "sson". So that's 12 s's in just their last names!!

SS manage to keep things heavy full time while never losing their melodic touch and a ton of hooks. Something that a lot of other bands can only do one or the other of and Sonic Syndicate have made this their forte. It is really cool to hear a new band combine all of these things and not gay it up at all. Only Inhuman packs a big wallop and takes you on a cool ride, while blending ultra crunchy guitars, drums from hell and touches of keyboards and piano. There's so much energy and a great in your faceness that is totally infectious. From the beginning notes of CD opener "Aftermath", the game is on. Menacing grooves & killer riffs from this young band make Only Inhuman one of 2007's bright spots.

Produced by Scar Symmetry guitarist Jonas Kjellgren, Only Inhuman is a heavy hitter with the drum abuse roofed in the mix, which is a true Swedish Metal trait!! Sonic Syndicate's rhythm section is super tight, guitar playing is sharp and the interesting co-lead vocals are fresh & soaring. All 11 tracks on this CD are catchy and heavy and on my iPod ripping scale, Only Inhuman gets 5 out of 5. There isn't a bad track on this CD from beginning to end & Sonic Syndicate could be THAT band to look for great stuff from in the next few years. Only Inhuman should satisfy the heaviest of fans and with the soaring melodies throughout convert some doubters along the way.






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