SONIC SYNDICATE have returned with their second album “Only Inhuman” and this time around, they have landed themselves a contract with Nuclear Blast. The success of their first album won over the staff at Nuclear Blast and they consequently came first in the Bandcontest held by their new label in 2005. With three brothers, a female bassist, a drummer and an additional vocalist, what is there not to like about SONIC SYNDICATE? Unfortunately, they have missed the mark with “Only Inhuman”.
A two year break between releases is quite long for a new band. Compared to their last release, “Only Human” has a lot more money invested into the crisp production which is a trademark of Nuclear Blast. Opening with “Aftermath” SONIC SYNDICATE really throw everything they have at the listener. With soaring CHILDREN OF BODOM keyboard passages, dual aggressive vocals and riffs sounding very much like STILL REMAINS’s “To Live And Die By Fire”, “Aftermath” is one melodic track. I have never been fond of bands with dual vocalists but it works well in SONIC SYNDICATE’s case. “Psychic Suicide” begins with some ATREYU like vocal work before the clean vocals kick in. This fan favourite track again follows the classic Metalcore blueprint and although is extremely catchy, does not have much substance. And this is the major problem with this release. Despite its smooth sound and catchiness, it feels very distant and lacks the angst that is expected from this genre. Some might argue that SONIC SYNDICATE lie more towards Melodic Death but I feel that the music is more akin to Metalcore.
I emerged from multiple listens (double digits) feeling as if I had not heard any of the tracks other than the two mentioned above. It was rather interesting to hear a Metal version of T.A.T.U’s “All About Us” which is rather serious, unlike CHILDREN OF BODOM’s cover of “Oops I Did It Again” by Britney Spears. There are no tracks that are outstanding and beg to be played every second of the day. In fact, I am hard pressed to find any tracks that I would play once a week. However, the album is definitely not woeful and I cannot find fault with any of the tracks. Unfortunately, none of the tracks appeal to me either.
(Online August 8, 2007)