Rating:
9.0
Sonic Syndicate - Only Inhuman
18 May 2007


Disc I [CD]
01. Aftermath
02. Blue Eyed Fiend
03. Psychic Suicide
04. Double Agent
05. Enclave
06. Denied
07. Callous
08. Only Inhuman
09. All About Us [t.A.T.u cover]
10. Unknown Entity
11. Flashback
12. Freelancer [Digipack/Japanese/European bonus]
13. My Soul in #000000 [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [DVD] [Tour Edition bonus]
Live In Cologne
01. Aftermath
02. Denied
03. History Repeats Itself
04. Only Inhuman
05. Flashback
06. Enclave
07. Unknown Entity
08. Callous
09. Jailbreak
10. Double Agent 616
11. Psychic Suicide
12. Blue Eyed Fiend
+ Denied [video]
+ Enclave [video]
+ Photogallery


"Only Inhuman" is the second and latest album of the band "Sonic Syndicate". It was released through Nuclear Blast Records, in May 2007, after the band won a big competition, called "Bandcontest" in 2005. If you got into the band with "Eden Fire" then you might be surprised a bit since the band has changed its sound to a more polished and catchy tone.

From the first time I saw the cover art, two bands came to my mind, In Flames and Soilwork. I don't know if it's just my idea, but I think this album cover is a mix of "Stabbing The Drama" from Soilwork and "Come Clarity" from In Flames. And that's exactly how the band sounds. It's a mix of In Flames music with the dual vocals of Soilwork, a mix of the well known Gothenburg sound with the American Alternative rock music.

Sonic Syndicate has two main vocalists now, each singing with his own style; Richard Sjunnesson doing the screaming vocals and Roland Johansson doing the clean vocals, which have gained more space since their first album and now both have equal importance. Each song has both vocal styles, except from "Enclave" which has only clean and could simply be just another (good) alternative rock song. Also, almost all songs have an extensive use of keyboards and in combination with the great riffs, the songs get a catchy feeling, like in "Aftermath" and "Denied". There are of course some filler songs too, that after some hearings can become boring, but that's something usual in all releases today. Another track worth mentioning is "All About Us" which is a t.A.T.u. song and probably the worst cover I've ever heard. I really can't understand how they thought to do something like that...

I'm sure there's lot of people hating this band, both for its sound and the promotion it's getting and accusing them that they're not metal or that are metalcore or even emo, but that's not quite true. The style of some members, may remind the emo fashion, but it's pure Gothenburg metal with just altered vocals. I've been hearing people whining all the time about the lack of originality in many bands today and when this comes, they dash it. I'm sure that this band may not be that original in the music they play and they surely are not the first band that tries that, but their originality stands in their effort to combine these two music genres, so it is most possible to gain fans among these two fields of rock and metal.

There's also something notable in the members of this band. Apart from the three Sjunnesson brothers, there's a pretty girl in the bass position too. Although she's credited for vocals, I'm not so sure if I heard her voice in any song, unlike their previous album. A good idea would be to promote her presence a bit more, since the only other band that comes to my mind with a female bass player is Bolt Thrower...

All in all, is this release better than the first? For me it surely is, but for some others not really. Closing this, I'd like to express my disappointment for the fact that the two music videos the band has done so far are not included in the disc; instead, we get a rather mediocre bonus track in the digipak version...

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Sonic Syndicate
Album: Only Inhuman


 


written by iaberis | 15.11.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Deadsoulman - 15.11.2007 at 19:19  
I don't know... I found their EPs and demos as Fallen Angels were interesting. But Sonic Syndicate is just too easy. Nothing on this album has any replay value. I mean, it's the metal equivalent of those summer hits you see popping in and out of existence every year. It's about as polished, overproduced and honest as them. And the vocals make me cringe, but that's just different tastes I guess.
Spyroid - 15.11.2007 at 19:43  
Medoricre bonus tracks, filler riffs, worst cover you've heard... and still you give it 9,0? And an 8 for the great original idea to combine gothenburg metal with metalcore vocals? ^^

This is actually a pretty good album, but I can't stand this band since I saw them live. Everything is backtracks - tremolo guitars, fast bass drums, tons of choirs, keyboards... they were also not very tight and the vocalists were really bad live. The demos are probably better, because this band has become a product.
Really cool coverart though!
iaberis - 15.11.2007 at 21:24  
Written by Spyroid on 15.11.2007 at 19:43

Medoricre bonus tracks, filler riffs, worst cover you've heard... and still you give it 9,0? And an 8 for the great original idea to combine gothenburg metal with metalcore vocals? ^^

This is actually a pretty good album, but I can't stand this band since I saw them live. Everything is backtracks - tremolo guitars, fast bass drums, tons of choirs, keyboards... they were also not very tight and the vocalists were really bad live. The demos are probably better, because this band has become a product.
Really cool coverart though!

I totally agree! It might have all these, but I still love it!
I don't know if I'll be listening to it next year, but it's still worthing a 9 for me...
iaberis - 15.11.2007 at 21:28  
Written by Deadsoulman on 15.11.2007 at 19:19

I mean, it's the metal equivalent of those summer hits you see popping in and out of existence every year.

You might be right on that too, I can grow easily tired of these songs, but after some months, I'll be listening to them again...
But if you are a new band, it's hard to make an album that will stay in time. Most bands today want fast popularity and recognition
+{Jonas}+ - 16.11.2007 at 04:14  
I agree with this review, this album is really nice spite the emo fashion. It's Gothenburg for me, and this album is way better than teh 1st one. probably signing with Nuclear Blast had to do with that. Nice review iaberis.
Deadsoulman - 16.11.2007 at 11:03  
Written by iaberis on 15.11.2007 at 21:28

Written by Deadsoulman on 15.11.2007 at 19:19

I mean, it's the metal equivalent of those summer hits you see popping in and out of existence every year.

You might be right on that too, I can grow easily tired of these songs, but after some months, I'll be listening to them again...
But if you are a new band, it's hard to make an album that will stay in time. Most bands today want fast popularity and recognition


You're right, and on the one hand I understand the approach of wanting to have immediate success and recognition. On the other hand I find it sad because it's almost always to the detriment of the quality of the music. But hey, I guess I could say the same for some of the bands I listen to
Jason W. - 16.11.2007 at 11:40  
I am with Collin on this one - the music is so overproduced and written to appease the masses that it takes away the soul of the music. I'm irritated that this is the opening band for Amon Amarth in December here... It not that the band sounds bad - but I just don't see it bringing anything unique to a scene that is nearly saturated with derivative bands already. It really does have a "flavor of the month" appeal....
Ozman - 16.11.2007 at 16:39  
I am also totally with Collin on this one, plus they are being overhyped by Nuclear Blast. So what that they might have won a band contest of the label, that only shows what sort of easy listening easily promotable band the label was looking for.
I saw them live with Caliban, Soilwork & Dark Tranquillity and even though I hate Caliban I must say that Caliban Soilwork Dark Tranquillity were infinitely better. But SS did have one redeeming factor... the tiny hot blonde bassplayer, yummie she looked great.

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