Okay, my fellow metalheads, let’s play a little game called “Judge A Book By Its Cover”! Let’s start with the deeply mysterious band name of “THE SONIC REVOLUTION”. Five sweet Canadian bucks says that you thought of a punk band, right? Preferably one that wears its political views on its (album) sleeve? If you guessed so, then you’re partially correct. THE SONIC REVOLUTION may have more in common musically with raw, oldschool Heavy Metal, but their lyrics are those of a politically charged punk band.
Take for example “A Day In The Life”, a track whose subject matter deals with the ongoing Iraq War. In the liner notes, singer/lyricist Nick Parisi expresses his disgust over having to constantly update the death toll that appears in one of the song’s lines. It’s obvious that this album, the band’s third to date, is meant to make a statement. This is made increasingly evident through other songs like “Follow The Money” and seven-minute behemoth “In This Together”.
While all the musicians of THE SONIC REVOLUTION are quite talented, it is really the vocalist, Parisi, who shines. His voice can be somewhat alternative-sounding at times, which it admittedly less than enjoyable, but he always hits the right notes and can really wail when he wants to, such as in the chorus of the title track. If there was a part of the mix that sounded tired, it would be the guitar riffs of axeslinger Joe Marselle. They don’t differ a whole lot from song to song, which unfortunately makes every track sound quite similar, regardless of the other band members’ efforts. He usually makes up for it with a varied guitar solo, but several songs are bogged down by the same ol’ drop D riffs over and over again. That being said, the semi-acoustic number “Drama” felt extremely refreshing, and it’s only four songs in.
The band claims that “Power Failure” was written based upon four distinct principles: Intensity, Power, Emotion, and Expression. Well, they certainly got the expression part down; I was quite impressed by the band’s lyrical depth, and I normally find bands that jump on the Bush-bashing bandwagon whiny and immature. You’ve got your opinion; that’s great, but for God’s sake, if you can’t find a mature enough way to express it, why open your mouth? Fortunately, THE SONIC REVOLUTION have got it covered. The other “values” of their music, however, have me a little concerned. Sure, they’re “intense”, I suppose, but THE SONIC REVOLUTION’s psuedo-Alternative/Heavy Metal style (mixed with the occasional Thrash riff) isn’t a style that lends itself particularly well to “power” or “emotion”. In terms of the music, I was neither blown away by their sheer heaviness nor did I connect to it emotionally, lyrics aside. To be honest, much of it’s quite bland, really.
Bottom line: buy it if you’re a fan of punk music, or if you want to hear some Heavy Metal with a very modern edge. Plus, you’ve gotta respect any band that’s released three full-length albums without a label.
(Online January 18, 2007)