It’s called the snowball effect. Once something (or someone) begins to slide down a slippery slope it gradually becomes harder and harder to pull one from the slide and return to original starting position. I feel that this is the career of SONIC SYNDICATE. “Eden Fire” was an impressive Modern Metal opus that caught my attention, but since then, the band has moved further and further from the genre and gradually into the realm of mainstream generalities.
Further proof of this snowballing comes in the form of their “Rebellion” EP. This little release has three songs, two new tracks and one radio cut of the first song (which is pretty obvious to be the upcoming single). Also new to this release is new clean vocalist, Nathan Biggs, which is one of the new reasons that I found this release to be further from I came to love about SONIC SYNDICATE.
Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. For those of you whom are new to SONIC SYNDICATE, here’s the recipe: one spoonful of Modern Metal mentality, add a dose of mainstream Metalcore originality, mix with a duel vocal style (harsh and clean), and throw in an Emo-esque visual style to the band. That’s the basics of this band. And “Rebellion” doesn’t go too much further away from that. In fact, it moves more towards the area of being AVENGED SEVENFOLD meets FALL OUT BOY than anything else.
Our first new track, “Burn This City” is our obvious single from the album with its focus on keyboard melodies and its catchy chorus. Unfortunately, new singer Biggs tends to remind me of the singer from FALL OUT BOY instead of a singer that I would have wanted to hear SONIC SYNDICATE attach to their line-up. The song is pretty damn mediocre in its writing and its focus is so much on the catchiness that they forgot to write some depth into it. Luckily, the second new song is better than the first, but unfortunately is unable to compete even with some of the band’s material earlier material. It is heavier, with lots of harsh vocals, and I enjoy that, but it still feels far too watered down even for Modern Metal.
The “Rebellion EP” is just further proof that SONIC SYNDICATE fails in comparison to other bands in the genre and even to their older material. The new album has a lot of work to do if this is representative of what’s included. It tries so hard to accomplish both the heavy and the catchy but ultimately undercuts on both and forces it together rather than lets it develop. Let’s just hope the new album can blend it a bit more.
(Online February 4, 2010)