Sonic Syndicate

Love And Other Disasters

Written by: AP on 08/10/2008 16:04:09

If the hype and promotion that have surrounded Sonic Syndicate in the past few years are to be taken as fact, these boys are to carry on the legacy of Swedish melodeath. That's going to be somewhat difficult, what with last year's "Only Inhuman" placing the band closer to the synth-aided metalcore of Still Remains, than Sweden's finest musical exports, and now the band's latest effort, "Love And Other Disasters". New, scenetastic hairdos and make-up aside, it continues from where "Only Inhuman" left off, suffice to say in the wrong direction, forward.

Soundwise it's more mature and refined than its predecessors, but the primal fury of the group's debut has been tamed for a generation of younger fans. Cheesy, pseudo-intellectual lyrics seem to be the driving force here, while instrumental prowess (or lack thereof) is kept subdued in the background. It's ear candy for kids with swooshy fringes who'd never admit to liking pop, but can't quite stomach the fierce, underground stuff of their scene either. It's not entirely forgettable, with the occasional burst of softcore wrath introducing a welcome break to those predictable choruses, some of which you may find yourself taking guilty pleasure in singing along to. It's not that they're bad, they're just second hand stuff written with a live setting in mind.

But it's not until the two melodramatic, nauseating anthems in the mix, "My Escape" and "Contradiction" that one feels compelled to bin the album altogether. Such is the extent to which Sonic Syndicate resort to shameless everything for everyone tactics in them. When songs like Hoobastank's "The Reason" and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" come to mind during what is essentially a metal album, something is very wrong. Judging from these two disasterpieces, the Syndicate isn't exactly subtle about its MTV and radio ambitions. Why not write all mainstream songs then, instead of this confused pick n' mix that implies the band might be engulfed by some sort of identity crisis.

So, to sum it up, does "Love And Other Disasters" herald the coming of a next generation of Swedish premium metal? Hardly. It's a calculated, dispassionate machine with money in mind. But while there's nothing new, groundbreaking, or even noteworthy about it, there's nothing technically wrong with it. Their young age taken into account, the musicianship is steady and decent and those choruses might just catch you off guard here and there. It just isn't interesting enough to leave a lasting impression.


Download: Hellgate Worcester, Jack of Diamonds, Red Eyed Friend

For the fans of: In Flames, Soilwork, Still Remains

Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.09.2008

Nuclear Blast

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