Sonic Syndicate are a Metalcore band from Sweden (many claim they’re Melodic Death Metal, but that is untrue). They’re currently in the process of releasing their third album (entitled ‘Love and Other Disasters’) on Nuclear Blast, but today I’m reviewing their first album, Eden Fire
, released on Pivotal Rockordings. They were still a six-piece when this was recorded, but instead of having two vocalists, they had one vocalist and a keyboardist.
Okay, before I start going in to detail I need to say this album is bad. Really bad. I’ll start with the vocals. The vocals are 90% screamed, and are in general, terrible. Now, I'm a fan of many extreme Metal vocalists, but this guy give an absolutely dreadful performance. His voice lacks anything to separate himself from all the other Metalcore vocalists out there and he never changes it up. Thus, the vocals become very boring very quickly, and due to their harsh nature, eventually become hard to tolerate. There are some clean vocals but they only sound good/appropriate on 'Jailbreak'. The female vocals on 'Enhance My Nightmare' sound overly ambitious and the other clean male vocals (ie 'Lament of Innocence') don’t add anything to the song itself. The lyrics are about some fantasy revolution thing, but they’re totally incomprehensible most of the time, so it’s hard to care.
The guitars are incredibly basic. The riffs are uninspired and never interesting. The leads…well, there aren’t any. The solos…well, there’s only one. It comes in 'Soulstone Splinter', and it’s surprisingly good. It makes me question why the hell there aren’t any elsewhere. The rhythm section is also incredibly basic, playing basic patterns and doing nothing more. I wish there was more to say here, but there really isn’t. The instrumentation on this album is, simply put, incredibly boring.
So if the guitarists barely get a spotlight, what does? The answer is the keyboardist. While there’s only one guitar solo on Eden Fire
, there are many keyboard solos. Is this is a good thing? Well, no, because like all the other instruments, the keyboard is extremely basic. The solos (which are where you’d usually expect guitar solos on a Metal album) meander worthlessly, never enhancing the music.
The whole album lacks any sort of significant diversity. The instruments all do the same thing (at times it feels like the guitarists are using the same fret for every single riff, etc), but song-wise, everything also sounds the same. Every song follows the same structure, and even though there are differences in length, the longest song, 'Enhance My Nightmare' (ridiculous song title, may I add) is just a slightly dragged out version of the other songs here.
Okay, there are some decent parts to this album. Opening track 'Jailbreak' is very fun, with the clean vocals in the chorus working really well. 'Soulstone Splinter' is the only track where the keyboard is acceptable (with quite a cool intro), and I do like the solo. Apart from that though, this album has nothing else I’d classify as above-average.
- A few good moments
- Apart from some minor differences, 10 versions of the same song
- Terrible vocals
- Instrumentation far too basic