Sonic Syndicate - _Eden Fire_
(Pivotal Rage, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (9.5 out of 10)
If you live your life by the axiom that every problem is a nail, you can fix it all with a hammer, it is a safe assumption that Sonic Syndicate missed that memo. This is one of those rare, yet coveted finds, and things keep getting better and better the more information that is uncovered when it comes to this outfit. Let's begin with the fact that this Swedish six-piece is comprised of talented artists between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two. Stepping that up, they sound like they've done this since Foghat's heyday. Sonic Syndicate's incredibly full sound, due in part to the inflated band participation, I would imagine, is chunky with a thick reverberation suggestive of anything from early In Flames to late Dark Tranquillity; unbelievably strong! But there's more. Moody keyboards add a breadth to the texture laid out on _Eden Fire_ unfortunately witnessed on albums far less often than Haley's Comet. The feathering of the keyboards into each passage has a way of subjugating them in order to provide a thin film of atmosphere that the choppiness of Sonic Syndicate's guitar and percussion power over, yet never leaving the ambiance created unexplored. Harshly gruff male vocals definitely communicate the deliberate seriousness of Sonic Syndicate's message. Contained all throughout this epic undertaking is a judicious use of clear female laden airiness. While combining the gruffer masculine with the feminine ambiance vocal approach isn't a new concept, Sonic Syndicate, given their experience, potentially could satisfy the harshest of critics.

The background scoop for the album is _Eden Fire_ puts forward ten tracks broken down into three different segments with a synchronized theme for each; the "Helix Reign -- Chronicles of a Broken Covenant", the "Extinction -- A Sinwar Quadrilogy" and the "Black Lotus -- The Shadow Flora" sections. As if all that wasn't enough, the rhythm struck by Sonic Syndicate on this offering harbors a seemingly effortless channeling, moving _Eden Fire_ from the frivolous intangibles to the rapturous pummeling found within nearly every track of the ten conceptualized cuts.

From the CD cover art to the lyrics to the proficient musicianship, Sonic Syndicate is a pearl in the oyster. This group of talented individuals will not remain "unnoticed" for long. If you hold the belief that finding a downright surprising band, new to you, is like finding a diamond in the rough, then Sonic Syndicate is an absolute must; belay that: crucial!


(article published 13/1/2006)

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