SONIC EUPHORIA’s EP "The Loss" is nothing if not ambitious. The first track, the rather unambiguously-titled “Thus It Begins,” acts as a sort of mission statement for the band and the results are fairly muddled. The vocals go from Grindcore-style frog noises, to deathgrowls, to Hardcore screams without much sense of purpose. The music is similarly scattershot, with Tech-Death guitars, Metalcore breakdowns, and time signature noodling all making appearances. It’s not that these various styles are done poorly, just that the presence of all of them, one after the other with little direction, results in a crowded four minute song. It’s more of a montage of styles the band fancies itself capable of than a coherent composition.
The record’s subsequent songs are more unified in scope, using reoccurring sonic themes in both the traditional verse-chorus-verse format and in more progressive ways. In “Memoirs Of The Lost,” high-pitched, effects-driven guitar tones open the track and re-appear throughout, both alone and over much heavier instrumentation. This gives the impression that the song is going in two directions at once; at times conventionally brutal and ghostly at others. Indeed, the careful use of effects make the song seem haunted. Though rather unadorned and lacking in subtlety, this technique is effective in demonstrating the compositional potential of the band.
SONIC EUPHORIA’s progressive tendencies emerge in other ways, as on “Life,” where DREAM THEATER-like instrumentation is used, along with clean vocals. These elements are sometimes rushed and haphazard, decreasing the already shaky unity in the band’s sound. Still, even at this early stage in the group’s career, SONIC EUPHORIA is branching out and experimenting more than bands with far greater experience. The outcome is an interesting and entertaining EP and the possibility of more polished releases in the future.
(Online October 19, 2008)