Sonic Syndicate - Only Inhuman
At first glimpse, almost everything about Sonic Syndicate screamed unoriginality and over-hyped. Being touted as the next big metal band from Sweden (home of bands they're ripping off such as In Flames, Dark Tranquility and Soilwork, amongst others), we're led to believe Only Inhuman is some sort of monster of an album, as it's landed them major popularity and a touring spot with Nightwish. What you end up getting falls very short for anyone who's ever been a fan of those Swedish bands I just mentioned. The similarity to, say, the most recent In Flames or Soilwork material is just astoundingly shameful. It's like they lifted up unused tracks from both and only allowed their vocal duo to speak for their own personaly creativity. Even the vocals are contrived and sound somewhat out of place with this oddly upbeat music.
Their style is pure Swedish melodic death, but it pushes as hard as it can to be considered pop-minded. It's this, and the fact that almost every single song (save for a couple of softer tracks) uses the same formulatic approach (tytpical scream-shout-soar vocal tradeoffs, monotonous and generic down-tuned riffing, rudimentary kit work, 5th grade piano class melodies, blastbeats) towards songwriting. It gets to the point that, despite my trying to enjoy this record as I do the genre it's heaped itself into, I'm fed up after about 6 songs. "Enclave" is pretty decent but could do without the melodramatic piano. Other than that...
Why then, you ask, are Sonic Syndicate gaining in popularity so steadily? It's because so many people reach for music like they do a new t-shirt or baseball hat; caring more about outside opinions than your own in the process. People who've heard some In Flames and then happen across any one Sonic Syndicate track are going to catch the similarities, and then they're going to pounce. It's not hard to see why they're where they are, but let it be known that it has very little to do with the quality of their music. I can direct you to about 100 bands from Sweden alone who've helped make this album possible, and the last on the list would be Sonic Syndicate. Avoid it.
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