Love and other Disasters
Nuclear Blast Records
Album number two from Swedish six-piece Sonic Syndicate sees the band shed some of the pop hooks of their debut and go straight for the jugular with a set of adrenaline-fuelled metalcore anthems. Their melodic side is still very much in evidence, but the huge layered choruses are now mixed in with an even more furious thrash metal approach that on the whole works very well.
‘Encaged’ and ‘Hellgate: Worcester’ show off their harder approach to blistering effect, while third track (and first video track) ‘Jack of Diamonds’ comes across as a new version of ‘Denied’ from the debut album, albeit much heavier. The use of two vocalists, while not something I’m particularly fond of in metal, works perfectly here, with Roland and Richard working off each other perfectly, alternating harsh and melodic vocals adding another layer that many current metal acts are lacking.
The music is harder than before, but there does seem to be a little too much borrowed from Soilwork on several songs, especially in some of the synth washes the band use. ‘Love and Other Disasters’ is a great album that will hopefully help the band shed a little of the ‘Thrash Linkin Park’ tag they earned from just having two vocalists.
With shades of balladry later in the album and some solid songwriting on show, this is more than just another flavour-of-the-week band. Granted, they got their deal following a competition, but they are not just a gimmick. This is the sound of a band coming into their own, and while not as immediate as the debut, it is an extremely good modern metal album.