Review Summary: Sonic Syndicate release one of the worst and most frustrating releases of 2010Jesus Christ
. You hear this music, and immediately you cringe and grate your teeth. You really just can’t help it: the sound all but overwhelms
you. Your first melo-death binge instantly comes to mind, having perhaps started at a time in the late Noughties when melodic death metal’s peak had long since come and gone. It seemed to you that only a few of the soon-to-be big leaguers like Be’lakor
or Intestine Baalism
were the only ones delivering the goods now, delivering the legit shi
t. Oh yes, you remember. Perhaps it was only recently.
On more than one occasion you would come across popular bands of Swedish or Finnish descent, turned saturated and empty of any use of subtly whatsoever, or of anything that made Carcass
fun or Gothenburg the place to be, the place to make some real happening melodic death metal back in the day. Former shadows of themselves were all these bands when you came across them in your search, now turned a watered-down alternative metal or melodic metalcore sound, now turned into a like-player akin to the hauntingly terrible origin of the very recalling of your melo-memory: Sonic Syndicate
That bad, eh? Yeah, Sonic Syndicate have been on a constant descent into melo-hell since their 2007 In Flames
and Avenged Sevenfold
sickly lovechild, Only Inhuman
. Something about the way Roland Johansson raped M. Shadows’ vocals put things into a suspicious context to begin with. But further throw in some cheese-ball keyboard effects and an abundance of God-awful screams coming from the worst of the worst in the business, Richard Sjunnesson, and you had the audio manifestation of what all of us are currently praying In Flames
will never sink to. To call them horrible is an understatement: Sonic Syndicate are
the bottom of the barrel when melodic death metal is concerned.
And now they bring to us their fourth release, We Rule The Night
, the worst the band have ever done in their sad, sorry mess of a career. Uh oh
. To prevent you from listening to this, I will tell you that Sjunnesson’s putrid chainsaw-into-your-eardrum of a scream is still here, still so hauntingly prevalent, that any of the band’s blatant hooks and fits of catchiness are drowned out completely in its wake. With a nauseating lack of subtly does a song like “Break of Day” present itself to you near the album’s end. The song repeats the whole of the band’s last two albums in just its two-minute, thirty seconds running time - this verse-chorus, keyboard-howl filth that has yet to change, despite the inclusion of a new lead singer for the band in 2009, Nathan J. Biggs.
You’d expect Sonic Syndicate to sound reasonably fresh with a new lead singer on We Rule The Night
, at least as far as the vocals are concerned, but no
. Give a listen to the album’s first three tracks, and you will probably have a very hard time separating ex-singer Johansson from this guy. His addition to the band’s songwriting is also sadly minimal, and despite Sonic Syndicate stating that they were having “creative differences” with Johansson, the majority of We Rule The Night
plays out like just another Sonic Syndicate album - without something like “Denied” to tempt you into returning for a brief, guilty listen.
That is, at least, with the exception of We Rule The Night
’s laughable pseudo-dance ball, ”Turn It Up”, and the two ballads, “My Own Life” and “Miles Apart”. In the past, Sonic Syndicate were able to get melodramatic and touching on a song like 2007’s “Enclave” without sinking further down into the ground with the rest of the album’s material. Here, however, this is not the case. “My Own Life” takes the redemptive 3 Door Down
thing and botches it up with a set of clichéd, lazy lyrics: “Fate is kicking down my door / But I don’t live there anymore
,” and “Miles Apart” turns the poorly expressed sentiments of Nickelback
on an unfortunate other: “Even if we’re a million miles apart / We’re still joined right at the heart
.” Good Lord, guys.
You might rightly call We Rule The Night
one of the worst albums of 2010, but it is also one of the most frustrating. Sonic Syndicate parade around as if they own the world, as if they own the night
, as evidenced in interviews and especially in their showy and arrogant music videos. It’s somewhat fulfilling and justified, then, that their albums are truly trash and that many of us don’t fall for their blatant shi
t. However, for the rest it is a tragedy that this band go on and continue to dilute minds with their filth, continue to dilute the subgenre of melodic death metal to an even lower level. Don’t buy into it. Throw this shi
t in the garbage where it belongs.