The Pulse Of Awakening

Written by: BL on 18/12/2009 15:08:42

Having already sampled a taste of this record with the two-track "A.E.O.N" EP I reviewed a few months ago here, I was a little cautious given the slightly restricted nature of the two songs on said EP which would feature on this full length. "The Pulse Of Awakening" follows on from "Antares" which was largely an enjoyable exploration of their self described "Death Wave" sound - a union of Meshuggah-esque groove metal rhythms with organic industrial elements and mesmerising synths.

As eluded to perhaps in my EP review, the synths are somewhat reduced in effect for this outing. Providing mostly background ambience (and still doing a good job of it) and acting as a canvas for the guitars to do more of the work (with one of the strongest tracks on the album "Doomsday Party" having the most notable use of synth melodies for the intro). But as such if you're familiar with the groove based nature of this band's material from the last album at least, you won't be in for too much of a surprise as familiar territory is the name of the game.

A couple of songs have gotten a little heavier, namely the rather appropriately titled "I Am Ultraviolence" - which features some gnarly agressive guitar riffing and a much darker synth tone. But otherwise there are still the enjoyable melodic choruses amongst the battering ram rhythm guitars during the verses, there are still the machine like precise and rapid fire (and therefore still excellent) drum work from Kevin Choiral. The vocals are still a mixed exchange between strained screams and odd moody, yet soothing clean vocals from Benjamin Nominet. His voice shifting between the two expressions fairly smoothly and occasionally pulling out a surprise or two (again on "I Am Ultraviolence" where he reaches for some deeper growls).

Comparatively this album doesn't sparkle overtly as much as the last, but in a way it doesn't even sound like it's trying to. Had there been a smattering of warm, gleaming melodies from the synths this would have just become "Antares vol.2" and in a way this is how a progression can be seen on their so called "Death Wave" sound since "Antares". The nature of the twelve tracks (which add up to a lengthy sum of near an hour and fifteen minutes) have a much more barren and more desolate atmosphere, even with the softest track "In The Cold Light" living up to its name - a feeling drawing close to emptiness. The only real exception is their cover of "Love Like Blood" by Killing Joke, with the original song's hypnotic melodies and style translating across to Sybreed's metallic (and equally hypnotic) sound fairly well, especially the vocals.

"The Pulse Of Awakening" is by no means a bad place to start if you are unfamiliar with Sybreed in any way, but at the same time the album never quite reaches the same sort of heights that "Antares" did - but this is a different record and enough to warrant checking out if you are a fan of the band, for you should still find something to enjoy - even if the cold nature of the songs can leave them passing you by if you're not in the right mood.


Download: Doomsday Party, Killjoy, I Am Ultraviolence
For the fans of: Raunchy, Mnemic, Synthetic Breed, Meshuggah
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.11.2009
Listenable Records

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