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Only Inhuman (Tour Edition)

Sonic Syndicate

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Album Review

Since so many of the groups swarming America's metalcore scene in the early 2000s are fundamentally indebted to Sweden's melodic death metal bands from a decade earlier, it's really only fitting that Sweden take something back! And, as evidenced by Sonic Syndicate's sophomore opus, Only Inhuman, the "taking back" is clearly underway, because the band's entire musical blueprint seems like it was shipped overnight express from this genre's primary breeding grounds in New England, and their teenage goth apparel purchased while on summer vacation in Orange County. Together with the punchy riffs, hooky choruses, and post-emo lyrical preoccupations contained in token tracks like "Blue Eyed Fiend," "Psychic Suicide," and the title tune, these elements compose an easily digestible snack for their prospective target audience (err, teens, obviously) — everything made all the yummier by the band's considerable facility for keeping songs short, sweet and memorable. Moreover, Sonic Syndicate even have a ballad fit for Avril Lavigne fans in "Enclave"; make use of dual vocalists for that requisite back-and-forth swap between clean and gruff intonations; but disturbingly possess no keyboard player in their midst, even though spidery synthesizer sequences infiltrate every song from start to finish, and absolutely dominate offerings like "Double Agent 616" and "Callous." That final oddity notwithstanding, the important thing to remember about Only Inhuman is that it's tailor-made for widespread commercial consumption, not for breaking down doors of originality, so why even bother with deeper details such as this?

Biography

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Living embodiments of music's uninhibited international exchange, Falkenburg, Sweden's Sonic Syndicate perform a commercial brand of metal mixed with hardcore that's most prevalent in America, but whose stylistic roots contain serious influences from the melodic death metal bands produced by Scandinavia ten years earlier. Formed in 2004 and comprised of double vocalists Richard Sjunnesson and Roland Johasson, guitarists Roger Sjunnesson and Robin Sjunnesson, bassist Karin Axlesson, and drummer John...
Full bio
Only Inhuman (Tour Edition), Sonic Syndicate
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