Review Summary: THE UNGUIDED is Sonic Syndicate returning to form plus some more!
In 2009 we saw the departure of clean vocalist Roland Johansson. 2010 saw the departure of harsh vocalist Richard Sjunnesson. With the two vocalists that basically was what most people enjoyed with Sonic Syndicate gone, what's left" Nothing, the Sonic Syndicate we used to know is dead and gone (funny considering that's the title of one of their newer tracks).
Roland left due to touring issues. Richard however, left with the following statement
"I left the band due to their inability to play decent music"
A bit harsh maybe" I'll beg the differ, considering what the band has turned into, I can't really blame him.
It didn't take long after Richards departure from the band before he called together the former core members of Sonic Syndicate, Roland Johansson and Roger Sjunnesson. Richard couldn't leave his creation to rot in the arms of Nuclear Blast... oh I'm sorry! I meant mainstream music. So he took matters into his own hands, and that's the story of how The Unguided was born.
No what is really Nightmareland or even better, what is THE UNGUIDED" It's Sonic Syndicate retuning to form, plus some more!
The EP kicks of with a powerful track called "Green Eyed Demon", wonder were I've heard this name before.... It start's of with distorted guitars, following drums and catchy keyboards before Richard gives the GO-signal as he screams "another angel falls". As the verse comes along we are offered tight guitar play with the harsh vocals following perfectly. This kind of reminds me of the style of Only Inhuman. The chorus kicks in as Roland sings the really catchy line "Something expendable was all I craved to fill a hole in my soul, and I found that in you" followed with Richard screaming the next line. After this everything explodes, or Burns as the lyrics states when it comes to the chorus. The chorus is simply Richard and Roland going head to head in an exploding fire fight. This is basically the song if you'd play it over a couple of times. Although there is a little something I didn't expect at first, before the song ends a brief moment of shredding by Roland Johansson comes along. Yeah, what can't this guy do"! Although it's a super catchy song, I wouldn't give it a 5. For me it's a bit to predictive and simply boring at times, but a really good song! 4/5
For those of you who wasn't that satisfied with the first track like me, you'll probably comes along as the same time I did. When the second and last track "Pathfinder" makes it's way to your speakers. It kicks of with a simple drum loop before the rest of the band comes along excluding Roland. It even features the catchy party-keyboards we've been offered some times before! The verse is really what you'd expect, catchy guitars with Richard following in a really good flow. At one moment what will later in the song become to bridge comes along. It's a melodic blast with technical guitar play fighting it's way though the keyboards. The second part of the verse comes along before the beautiful chorus. Now this is the kind of chorus that I always love about Sonic Syndicate! The more melodic chorus with guitars and keyboards set to carry the amazing vocals by Roland throughout the whole thing. You'd think that his is the end, and that this is what will be repeated until the end of the track. That along would have made it a super great song, but we're offered a solo by Roland Johansson. Yes, a solo! First one in a really long while. For me it's like 6 years going way back to "Soulstone Splinter" as I really don't consider the solo part in "Red Eyed Friend" really a SOLO. As the song comes to it's close we get the final part were the whole song changes into one big ending chorus with Richard and Roland singing that they are leaving Nightmareland. This song is in my ears probably one of the best Sonic Syndicate songs ever made! 5/5
So what is really Nightmareland" Nightmareland is an EP I strongly advice you to pick up once it's available again (released on April 1st, and already sold out"!) if you were a fan of the old Sonic Syndicate! Because this is really good if you're into it. As the summary says: THE UNGUIDED is Sonic Syndicate returning to form plus some more! It's a really good EP and a really good teaser for the full-length album coming (hopefully) in the summer.
The only two things I possibly would complain about in this release is the bass and drums. The drums are OK, but they're not good enough for my taste as I'm used to John Bengtsons tight drumming in Sonic Syndicate. The base is probably something we must get used to that has always been and will always be absent in their formula, only negative thing now is that we no longer have an attractive bass player to make up for it...
PS: Some of you guys will probably go on trolling about how I mention Sonic Syndicate all the time in this review. Well gosh, Richard Sjunnesson himself states following "The Unguided is Sonic Syndicate under a new name", so beat it!
- New and exciting guitar play for the Sonic Syndicate formula.
- Breathtaking vocal performance by both Richard and Roland.
- Decent drums, nothing big really.
- The ALWAYS absent bass guitar...
"Green Eyed Demon" & "Pathfinder", oh wait...
First review on sputnik, constructive comments are wanted!