Sybreed
Antares


4.0
excellent

Review

by zuzek USER (8 Reviews)
April 29th, 2009 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Authentically futuristic and cold sounding as Antares may be, there is an already energetic and promising fire burning underneath the surface.

Many would say that few bands dare break out of the industrial metal stereotype of repetitive mechanical riffs and samples. It is difficult to innovate or grasp for originality when something becomes so popular that it’s challenging not to fixate on it. Fear not, for Sybreed are not of this derivative type. They are deserving of your attention.

The year 2004 saw Sybreed’s debut Slave Design come to light, a solid industrial record that largely featured an aggressive and fast paced sound. Despite mostly receiving recognition for the effort, the album failed to garner a lot of attention in the metal community. Before recording their sophomore effort Antares, Sybreed have switched labels indicating something was to change. As Antares shows, Sybreed have certainly evolved during this period of time. Next to Dirk Verbeuren (of Soilwork fame) providing the drums for the album, the entire sound has changed for the better due to the progression in songwriting. The Swiss have opted for a generally more melodic and diverse approach this time around and it definitely improves on what Slave Design had to offer. Riffs and melodies draw from quite a wide range of influences, which for the sake of giving you a chance to discover them for yourself (next to making this tedious), I will not list here.

“Emma-0” is both the start for Sybreed and the listener, as it basically provides a somewhat adequate impression of what the album has to offer, yet does not come close to being one of its strongest tracks in any of the musical aspects. Immediately apparent are strangely infectious grooves laid down by guitarist and producer Drop, providing an appreciated contrast to the -often staccato- rhythm work that largely dominates the album. It is only in the next two songs that we meet the familiar fierce pummeling that was a major part of Slave Design’s sound again. The better production values really shine through here and make the experience all the more enjoyable, culminating in the gradual tempo shifts at the end of “Revive my Wounds”.

While the guitars are generally more restricted to technical rhythm work, keyboards take the duty of acting as the melodic ingredient. This division of labor only goes through some slight alterations in the latter part of the album, which at times features a borderline progressive feeling due to the constantly changing song structures and more diverse sound (“Twelve Megatons Gravity”). The keyboards feature odd melodies and eerie samples throughout the album, though there is an undeniable catchiness and attractiveness to them. The complex drumming is spot on, as many who are familiar with Dirk Verbeuren will expect from him. Though only acting as a temporary studio drummer, his wide and technical influences work in great unison with Drop’s riffing to provide the album with a very strong backbone. Ranging from blast beats to polyrhythms to rich cymbal usage, it will be a tough job for the new drummer Kevin to live up to such a performance.

The problem with the bass is that most of it gets buried under the dropped riffage and thus, while reinforcing the rhythm section, can never truly provide the album with more depth. Though this is adequate for the style used in most of Antares songs, there are more opportunities for the bass to provide just that little more detail than it actually does, and that is regrettable. It’s moments of triumph are restricted to the mid-break instrumental “Ex-Inferis” (where it could still have been more prominent) and the last two tracks “Twelve Megatons Gravity” and “Ethernity”. The album closer is absolutely beautiful but feels strangely misplaced next to the rest of the material, being exceptionally mellow and dreamy of character.

This leaves only Benjamin’s vocals untouched, which are the icing on the cake to build a convincing atmosphere. His voice is not exceptionally powerful even though the emotional and harsh screams are definitely convincing. Most of the natural atmosphere comes from his melancholic clean voice, which is cold and distant, yet strangely captivating. They find a new home in soaring melodic choruses (“Neurodrive”) and passages, which are reminiscent of Gothenburg style in a good way, that appear more frequently on Antares. Utilizing harmonization and vocal effects more effectively and strongly than on Slave Design, it is clear that Antares is the better album, marking the bands growth as separate musicians and atmospheric composers. It will be interesting to see how Sybreed will manage to expand on this achievement with their 2009 planned release “The Pulse of Awakening”.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
zuzek
April 29th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Please post any positive criticism about the writing style, grammar etc. Hope you enjoy the read, cheers!

kintups
April 29th 2009


491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wonderful review! Glad you did this one.

Apostle7
April 29th 2009


235 Comments


What's positive criticism?

BallsToTheWall
April 29th 2009


44805 Comments


Re-Evolution is the greatest song this band will ever put out. Ever. Pretty good review man. i think you should check out a band called Xerath. A bit similar but stronger overall. Substitute industrial beats for symphonic passages in the chugga chug Strapping Young Lad Meets Soilwork instead.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

zuzek
April 29th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks kintups!

Apostely7. The kind where you don't try to stick your dick in my behind or harass me for my Pokemon fetish.

BallsToTheWall
April 29th 2009


44805 Comments


DRAGONITE: AURORA BEAM NOW!!!

zuzek
April 29th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

FUUUUUU-

Thanks Balls. It's funny you should mention that, as I had a myspace up for a few weeks (no clue why actually) and Xerath added me. Checked them out, and although I liked them right off the bat I totally forgot about them. Cheers for reminding me!

bloc
April 29th 2009


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

pretty good band actually. love the style of music.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

po0ty
April 29th 2009


493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review dude, i would give this the same score i think..a lot of the songs are a bit drawn out though.

willfellmarsy
April 30th 2009


3849 Comments


i read this review...

zuzek
April 30th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks po0ty, I agree with you that you might feel some songs are a bit drawn out at times; yet they never get tedious and I find myself spinning this album quite often. That ultimately decided the difference between a 4.0 and 3.5. It really is a very good album.

That doesn't sound positive willfellmarsy haha, anything you would like to comment on for improval?

Willie
Moderator
April 30th 2009


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. I like this CD but haven't listened to it in about a year. I think I'll throw it on today.

Re-Evolution is the greatest song this band will ever put out. Ever.
Re-Evolution is definitely near the top but I think I like "Next Day Will Never Come" a little more (but "Re-Evolution" has an awesome chorus).

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

lauriej
April 30th 2009


1712 Comments


great review, love these guys but still need to buy this album. how careless, maybe this is a wakeup call

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2009


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very nice review, glad to see this got reviewd. These guys are ok, but I don't particulary like them, but it is nice to see that some more obscure industrial metal bands like this get reviews too, good work!

Apostle7
May 3rd 2009


235 Comments


Apostely7. The kind where you don't try to stick your dick in my behind or harass me for my Pokemon fetish.


Were you talking to me?

zuzek
May 4th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What do you think haha? It actually refers to another review and some comments that nearly destroyed my very soul... but anyway, this is sputnik. People here act silly from time to time.

bloc
November 8th 2009


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

does anyone feel chilly when they listen to this?

SoundtheSurrender13
December 22nd 2009


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, very well written.
^@bloc, defiantly get chills with this album, especially with the song Plasmatierial

bloc
January 19th 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

listened to this again today, still icy as hell. beautiful stuff right here.

bloc
August 31st 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

SO FEKKING GOOD



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