Electro melodic death metal bliss,
This review is from: Eden Fire (Audio CD)
Sonic Syndicate is a name that draws much loathing and ire, as the band has become synonymous with over-produced commerical trite that masquarades as metal. You'd be forgiven for thinking that you are listening to a completely different band when Eden Fire kicks off, because that's not actually far from the truth...
Comprises of rerecordings of 2 EPs when the band flew under the moniker Fallen Angel and 3 new tracks, Eden Fire rips out the speakers in stark contrast to the emo/screamo/nu metal that would later come to define the band. Eden Fire is in your face with chunky riffing, harmoniuos guitar leads, growled/screamed vocals and errie keyboard melodies that takes cue from Soilwork, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. While the riffing and screaming is fairly standard for the genre, the keys are freaking excellent and make Eden Fire worthwhile for me. Part 90s video game, part sci-fi movie, maybe even part Fear Factory, Andreas Mårtensson's playing is just off the wall, giving a very colourful but at the same time chilling feel to the album. The intro to Misanthropic Call, for example, sounds like it could have come straight from The Terminator. Brilliant stuff.
The band mainly keeps things mid-tempo, and never really breaks out into anything that fast or thrashy, but the constant rythmic pounding of the riffs and the overlapped electronic melodies keep the band sounding fresh and interesting. A few songs also feature some haunting vocals from bassist Karin, whioh almost give off a slight goth vibe to good effect.
If I could complain about one thing, it would have to be the production. Its a bit too messy and muddly at times, and although the guitars have a pleasantly raw crunch, the distortion-drenched vocals sound quite sketchy to me; i dunno about you but I never really want to hear vocals that sound like they've been down a phone line before they hit my speakers. Also, its is quite noticeable that the re-recordings from Extinction (Zion Must Fall, Misanthropic Call, Lament of Innocence and Countdown To Extinction) are inferior to the E.P. versions. They have been dumded down, and a lot of their more comple riffs have been removed. Shame really
If you are a fan of of this sort of electronic melodeth (and I certainly am) then Eden Fire might be an undiscovered gem that's just waiting to be uncovered. Don't let the Sonic Syndicate name put you off; Eden Fire is a blast.
For fans of In Flames (pre Clayman) Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Disarmonia Mundi, Mors Principium Est, LunarSea, etc