Sybreed
God Is an Automaton


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
October 10th, 2012 | 27 replies | 7,317 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sybreed’s fourth LP is head and shoulders above most industrial metal albums to come out in 2012

God Is An Automaton doesn’t represent anything particularly new for Sybreed. With that said, it is still a really, really solid slab of industrial metal because, well, Sybreed are a consistently good industrial metal band. I’ve never been fully wowed by them, but in the same way, I’ve never been disappointed in them either. Slave Design was an entirely decent, if a bit long-winded record for a debut; Antares – considered as the group’s best album thus far – was indeed excellent and achieved a really good balance between the metallic and industrial/atmospheric elements; and finally, The Pulse Of Awakening was exactly what I thought it was going to be prior to its release: an inferior record to Antares that’s still great on its own. Now, in 2012, the band has come out with a successor to The Pulse Of Awakening and to no one’s dismay, it continues the line of great but not spectacular albums by Sybreed.

The whole thing starts off incredibly well, as "Posthuman Manifesto" introduces the listener to the grooviest riff of the year, plus it has those chilling clean vocals that Sybreed are known and acclaimed for in the latter part of the song. Following tracks "No Wisdom Brings Solace", "The Line of Least Resistance" and "Red Nova Ignition" maintain the intensity of the opener, displaying a good use of the harsh-clean vocal dynamic and featuring more groovy guitar riffs that are enhanced by the accompanying electronic effects. Starting from the title track though, the album falls into a bit of a rut that spans across three tracks. None of the following songs are bad and the dynamics that made the first few songs so great are still in use, but they’re just not as exciting anymore. The songs in question (the title track, "Hightech Versus Lowlife" and "Downfall Inc.") are all decent-enough cuts, there’s just not much to set them apart from any other Sybreed song. Thankfully, once "Challenger" rolls onto the scene with its irresistible catchiness, the album refuses to let up and finishes strongly, with each of the remaining songs bettering the one that came before it. The real cherry on top is the album finisher "Destruction And Bliss", which takes full advantage of its near 10 minute running time. It steadily builds (the tension) and while the electronic climax at the end is not fierce in sound, it does paint to the listener a dark, haunting soundscape that wouldn’t be out of place serving as a soundtrack to the end of the world.

Now, while this is most probably the best industrial metal album (that has equal parts of "industrial" and "metal") that I’ve heard all year, it does have a few minor flaws. For starters, it’s industrial metal, so you can expect it to be at least somewhat repetitive (example: the middle part of the album that I already brought out – none of the songs are bad in any way, they just work the same formula that the songs that preceded them did). On the other hand, no one should hope to find progressive metal-like qualities in industrial metal anyway, and Sybreed do mix it up more than most of their peers. What might be of concern to some on God Is An Automaton though is that the vocals are mixed differently here than they are on Antares or The Pulse Of Awakening. On God Is An Automaton, they are much more on the forefront and while they do still sound great, they do so in a different way. When on previous releases they were more atmospheric, almost glued together with the electronics, here they work more as a separate instrument (mind you, the vocal techniques that are in use are the same as on previous releases, especially the clean-harsh dynamic). How well this phenomenon goes over with the fans (and the newcomers to the band as well) remains to be seen, but for those who really digged the atmospheric vocal layers on Antares, it might look like a small step in the wrong direction.

In the very first sentence I mentioned that this album is nothing particularly new for Sybreed, but I italicized the word "particularly" and I did so for a reason, as some minor changes have occurred. Sybreed are staying true to their own style which they call "deathwave" (a fusion of extreme metal and electronic music that prominently features groove-based rhythms and futuristic melodies); in fact, they’re doing it more so now than ever because the guitars have really been kicked up a notch. The chugging sections are rather heavy and some riffs have a cool djenty feel to them. The drums also sound more organic than ever and have a really "full" sound to them. In general the production seems to favor the metal part in Sybreed’s sound this time around, because while the electronics are still there and still a major influence, it all sounds bigger and louder.

In conclusion, God Is An Automaton is another great industrial metal album from the Swiss quartet who is yet to disappoint. Usually, when you have equal parts of metal and industrial in your sound, it’s (for some weird reason) hard to get it right for even one album, but Sybreed have more or less done so on four already. All the more, the value of God Is An Automaton is enhanced by 2012 being a really dull year for industrial metal so far, leaving the album as a clear-cut standout. With that in mind, there’s no other way to put it than to call God Is An Automaton a roaring success - an album any fan of industrial metal should try out.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a 3.75, but I'll give it the +.5 because it's hard to do good in this genre.

Slowly getting back to the reviewing game, I hope I don't sound too rusty haha.

FrozenVain
October 10th 2012



2405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review! I agree with the 3.75 thingy, too.
I'm glad someone took their time to review this cuz it's good.

FrozenVain
October 10th 2012



2405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review was not rusty at all by the way.

HSThomas
October 10th 2012



668 Comments


Computer will probably overload because this review's stylin' too hard. Also props on reccing Mechina, band is possibly one of the only interesting bands to come out of the industrial metal genre in recent years. Have you heard the two tracks from their next album?

pizzamachine
October 10th 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really fun album for me, great review brooooo

MO
October 10th 2012



18506 Comments


"It's a 3.75, but I'll give it the +.5 because it's hard to do good in this genre."

check your math!!!!!!!!!!!

Ponton
Emeritus
October 10th 2012



5790 Comments


Been meaning to check the is out

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

check your math!!!!!!!!!!!
I meant the +.5 from 3.5 to a 4 ;). Math has never been my thing though haha.

Thomas - No I haven't yet, but I'll do so now that I know they have something new out. Conqueror was a really good album.

Thanks for the comments all and Jared, I'm not sure if this is your thing at all, but I'm definitely not gonna stop you from checking it out.

itchy
October 10th 2012



244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I had forgotten about these guys after Antares came out and I loved Slave Design back in the day. Thanks for bringing them back to my attention styles!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're welcome =)

TheNotrap
October 10th 2012



8035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Slightly monotonous but still enjoyable.

Nice work, have a pos.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

bloc
October 10th 2012



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice work my man, glad you chose this one to review so I could see how a delusional person justifies himself haha ;)

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still can't understand how you love Antares so much and feel so indifferent towards this. The two albums are almost like brothers, maaaaan.

bloc
October 10th 2012



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No way man. This sounds too much like their last album Pulse Of Awakening, which barely touched Antares in terms of quality and cyber-ness.

Antares was cold and icy sounding whereas this and Pulse were a bit too much on the dance-metal side...

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd agree about Pulse being dancey, but this...it's groovy alright, but its def. darker than Pulse. It's not as icy as Antares, agreed, but imo it does have more in common with that than Pulse in terms of atmosphere.

bloc
October 10th 2012



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah you have a point. I've been wanting to listen to this again actually for a while now to see if anything's changed. I might just have to do that sooner rather than later.

MunsuLight
October 10th 2012



558 Comments


Nice review from a band I did forget with time.. Is it more like Slave or more like Antares?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2012



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's closest to Antares atmosphere-wise.

And yeah bloc, go do that and then tell me if anything changes. Imo it is a grower of an album anyway.

Violinist
October 11th 2012



26 Comments


Really like the first two, thought the third was a dud and was on the fence about picking this up. They were throwing some in-the-studio vids up on YouTube a while ago that sounded good. Review is pushing me towards buying it...

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2012



16310 Comments


Long time, no see Styles. Good to see you reviewing still, pos.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt



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