Somewhere around the turn of the millennium Sweden traded America its melodic death metal handbook in exchange for nu-metal's thick production gloss and predictable chorus structures and groups like Soilwork, In Flames and Raunchy have been reaping the 'benefits' ever since. With "Only Inhuman", a collection of both re-recorded tracks from previous releases and some new jams, Sweden's Sonic Syndicate are eager to bump in line.
Sporting a serviceable blend of melody, light electronic crunch and well, Swedish melodic death metal; Sonic Syndicate churn out what is essentially label ready 'metal' for the masses. It's Euro in design but sports many ear markings of American hard rock, avoiding metalcore pugnacity and instead favoring somewhat syrupy balladry and crisp staccato lunges. There's solid riffs, overtly melodic vocals, brisk drumming, good cop/bad cop vocal trade-offs and well a dude sporting a My Chemical Romance hoodie in their promo pic.
But while that alone may cause the scene police to open a case, the real problem with "Only Inhuman" lies in that everything is so meticulously placed and retread that it feels sterile and robotic in nature. Dismissing them as a band going through the motions of what is currently trendy may be pushing it - but the generic, monotonous nature of this release does leave a lot to be desired. It's good for what it is, but unfortunately it is just more of the same.
(3 / 5)