Sybreed
Slave Design


3.5
great

Review

by Locrian USER (13 Reviews)
August 26th, 2010 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sybreed show a few weaknesses in songwriting, but their exceptional overall sound is still able to set them apart from countless similar bands.

In today’s music, there can be found two general methods of appealing to audiences. The first of these is the creation of a powerful atmosphere, commonly done by establishing a strong pulse or varying instrumental arrangement; the second lies in the actual songwriting itself, with technical ability and catchy melodies impressing the listener. Some bands will attempt to focus more on atmosphere, while others will use songwriting more to their advantage. The best bands, of course, succeed in accomplishing both. A few, however, will put all their creativity into enhancing one of these qualities while neglecting to pay attention to the other.

Sybreed, a quartet from Switzerland influenced by Meshuggah and Fear Factory, make it quite clear on their debut album, Slave Design, that they are capable of establishing the right atmosphere. Synthesizers and other electronic sounds are commonplace; the idea has admittedly been utilized by thousands of other bands, but the difference is that Sybreed know just what to use them for. Instead of putting them at the very center of attention and downplaying the rest of the band’s performance, Sybreed effortlessly blend them into the overall sound, resulting in a dark, ethereal mood throughout the album. (This is even more impressive when one considers that this is a debut album, where for many bands poor production is an issue.) Like the bands from which they draw inspiration, Sybreed is heavily reliant on rhythm, using a pounding pulse to drive songs forward. Vocalist Benjamin Nominet doesn’t display a vast amount of ability, but his somewhat mysterious voice seems to be well suited for the album’s atmosphere. In short, Sybreed have created a wonderfully unique sound, something that they never give up on.

Unfortunately, Sybreed seem to have given too much thought to this quality, considerably weakening their songwriting abilities. Of the three major components of music – melody, harmony, and rhythm – Sybreed focus on only the last of these. Melodies are usually limited to Nominet’s vocal lines, while most harmonies revolve completely around the tonic; even the synthesized chords don’t contribute much to harmonic diversity. While the riffs on Slave Design are generally good, they are also repeated far too often, contributing to and reinforcing the album’s tendency to drag on at times. Adding to this is the fact that the album’s emphasis on rhythm leaves little room for differences between songs. Put together, these flaws make it difficult to listen to the hour-long album all the way through.

Still, Slave Design is immensely enjoyable when listened to one or two tracks at a time. Opener Bioactive, for instance, presents a clear example of everything Sybreed has to offer, featuring some of the best material on the album. The frantic introduction of Machine Gun Messiah serves as a clear-cut deviation from the album’s slower, pulse-driven material, while the softer opening of Critical Mass achieves the same effect. Played by itself, any one of the album’s tracks makes for a satisfying listen. Listeners who like one track from the album will probably enjoy the rest.

Overall, Slave Design is a promising debut with a fantastic overall sound and tons of potential – everything that one could expect from a band’s first album. Those who are looking for something familiar yet unique to add to their collection might want to consider what Sybreed has to offer.



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user ratings (101)
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3.9
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Telekinetic (4)
Even though this is their debut, they have a full idea of what direction they are heading, but this ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Locrian
August 26th 2010


1003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As of today, I have been a member of Sputnikmusic for six months. As such, I thought I'd post this review.

krig9412
August 26th 2010


794 Comments


Happy sixth month membership?

Lol, good review dude. I never could really get into these guys, partly because I'm not the biggest fan of Fear Factory. Is there sophomore album any good?

Locrian
August 26th 2010


1003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Antares? I haven't heard much of it yet, but it seems to be better than this, so go ahead and give that one a try.

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Locrian u dum? ANTARES ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLZ

Didn't like this album too much though.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


"ANTARES ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLZ"

Bloc










u dum?

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My dear East...














i tink it is u who is dum.

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


maybeh. but dis band is a no no. :]

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I swear we talked about that album a few days ago!

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


We did, dummy

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And I told you why I liked this so much, dummy.

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


And i told you why I DIDN'T like this so much, dummyer.

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

OKAY THEN. CASE CLOSED.




















dummyest.

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


Have you ever listened to The Shizit? That therr is sum good industrial metal.

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

LOL Are you really asking ME that? ME? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? HUH? DO YOU?

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


YA I DUM

EDIT: I JUST CHECKED YER PIE CHART


I DUM

soap91
August 26th 2010


125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank God, this album has been needing a review for a while. Its a good one, but Antares is still way better.

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

YES Silence!

But yeah East, I like The Shizit too. You should also check out Rabbit Junk, same guy.

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


Same vocalist? That was my favorite part of the Shizit.

bloc
August 26th 2010


35004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yep, same guy. He's with a girl in this one though, so there are some pretty sick female vocals sometimes. Although Rabbit Junk doesn't sound as angry.

East Hastings
August 26th 2010


4392 Comments


Well their band bio said they combined stuff like hip-hop, black metal, and new wave, so I'm intrigued. Thx bro.



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