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Album Reviews : Sonic Syndicate – Love and Other Disasters

By on September 21, 2008

Sonic Syndicate is a Swedish 6 piece metal band. Imagine a kind of love child between the likes of Sweden’s Soilwork, and say.. Killswitch Engage.. ugly in theory.. but they pull it off well.

‘Love and Other Disasters’ is Sonic Syndicates third album, and second after winning a band competition from nuclear Blast out of 1500 bands.

The album kicks off with Enraged, no intro, no build up, just straight into it. From the word go we get an introduction to Richard Sjunnesson and Roland Johannson, Sonic Syndicates dual vocal enslaught. Richard handles the majority of the screaming, sometimes both trading blows, with Roland handling the clean vocals, often remeniscent of Burton C Bells clean vocals.

Hellgate Worcester follows suit, with the fast riffing and drums. Lyrically the song is about a bad experience the band had with some American fans at their Worcester show, supporting Amon Amarth. Love and other disasters sees Roland handling more vocal duties during the chorus, and musically is a more varied album compared to the likes of ‘Only Inhuman’ which was written by guitarist Sjunnesson. This album sees everyone joining in on the writing of the album, making it an easier album to listen to in one sitting.

Jack of Diamonds, the first single from the album, comes up next, and was a good choice as the lead single. It features a heavy side, not the heaviest on the album, but also a more commercial, and catchy feel to the song, with the chorus sticking in your head for days to come. The albums second single follows up, My Escape, and the first ballad for the album. Compared to the ballads from Only Inhuman, there is a fuller sound, and they work well, relying on an ochestral arrangment, but pulling it all together nicely.

Fallout, follows the formula set so far on the album, and from the commercial feel of the song, I can see how it was innitially intended as the first single, with another addictive catchy chorus. Powershift is up next, and is a great fast song, with plenty of melody and metal. Its a winner; it has everything good about Sonic Syndicate crammed into one track, with a thumping chorus to top it all off. Definate highlight of the album! Keyboards a plenty on this track, it was written with producer, Scar Symmetry guitarist, Jonas Kjellgren.

Contradiction, ballad number 2, follows the lead of ‘my escape’, with a slightly heavier feel to it, but still with pleny of emotion showing through, and not coming off forced, or written for the radio. Damage: Control comes off sounding sound a left over from Eden Fire. Thats not intended as an insult, but has the feel to it, with minimal clean vocals, and a darker feel to the track. Red Eyed Friend shows what the band in 2008 is capable of, with fast riffs and drums, standing out from the rest of the album vocally and musically, but still feels a part of it.

Affliction, the longest track, and the final track on the album, was written on the Amon Amarth tour, and has a familiar intro to fans of the band: Richard rightly says: “The intro smells a bit like ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ to be fair”. The song has a meloncholic feel to with no thumping chorus, but stands strong as to end the album with some fine metal, with minimal clean vocals.

Jonas Kjellgren handles the production duties again on the album, and does a fine job on it, without over producing the album. Mixing duties are handled Roberto Laghi on this release, who mixed In Flames latest offering ‘A Sense of Purpose’, creating a good sound.

Overall I think its a really solid album, without any filler. 8/10

Band: Sonic Syndacate
Album: Love and other Disasters
Year: 2008
Genre: Futuristic Hybrid Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Origin: Sweden

Hellgate Worcester
Jack of Diamonds
My Escape
Power Shift ? Reviewers Choice
Damage: Control
Red Eyed Friend

Bonus Tracks
Dead Planet


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