Sonic Syndicate

Starkill – Shadow Sleep Review

Starkill – Shadow Sleep Review

“Commercialized metal is one of the strangest and most unnatural phenomena our beloved genre has gone through. I’m not talking about metal that happened to get mainstream recognition, by the way. Even Metallica, with the most lucrative metal act in history, started off as a thrash metal band like any other and only gained widespread fame after 5 albums. I’m talking about bands that seem to have been created or molded precisely to sell metal to the masses, like Amaranthe or Sonic Syndicate.” The vogue of metal.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

“To say that I’ve had an ongoing “love/hate” relationship with Amaranthe would be a far too forgiving description of my feelings towards Sweden’s very own ’90s pop-commodity-metal band’s first two albums. I even took a moment last year to openly admit that I had spent far too much time and energy hating Amaranthe, and that frankly I couldn’t cope with listening to another one of their records. I have to admit, this was partially a lie: I actually have been listening to the band’s new record far more than I’d like to admit publicly.” We messed up.

Angra – Secret Garden Review

Angra – Secret Garden Review

Angra needs no introduction. The band has been a power metal fixture since the early 1990s and are one of the biggest metal bands to ever breach the borders of their native Brazil. Still, the last decade(ish) has been rocky for these guys, and you might not be blamed for having thought they called it quits. Not only did half the band quit in the early-aughts to go and start Shaman, but they’ve had dust-ups with management and were put on hold—even having been mistakenly reported as split-up entirely. Hell, between 2010’s Aqua and the release of Secret Garden they lost both a singer—who was replaced by Rhapsody [of Fire]‘s Fabio Lione—and got a new 23 year-old drummer to boot. Consistency has been hard to come by for Angra of late.” Mr. The Metal Guy takes on Angra‘s newest record. Does he bite the cheese?

The Unguided – Fragile Immortality Review

The Unguided – Fragile Immortality Review

“Lovers of modern metal and Amaranthe groupies, take heed! Rising from the ashes of Sonic Syndicate, The Unguided is the newish project by ex-Syndicate members Richard Sjunnesson and Roland Johansson which strives to answer the immortal question “just how cheesy, poppy and crappy can you make melodic death metal sound?”” If this question has been gnawing at you, The Unguided may have the answer you seek.

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Objectivity

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Objectivity

So, there’s been a lot of stink on this website (and other websites) about reviews that I write where I give a band a bad score. One of the most fascinating responses that I get is the one where people tell me that I am “not objective.” As an Angry Metal Guy who feels very strongly about how much I want to blow up the entire concept of postmodernism, I hate to say this because it’s a very postmodern claim, but let’s revisit an old cliche, shall we? “Art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe has three vocalists. Just let that sink in for a while. From what I can tell, not one of those vocalists plays an instrument. Instead, they found three “attractive” people to do vocals for them. The first is a woman, who sounds like a pop singer (think E Type) and who I guarantee you cannot name a Slayer record. The second is a screamy dude. He’s got a beard (’cause he’s tough and angsty, you see) and he screams, but not too much (he must be very, very, very bored on stage). And then there’s the ‘power metal’ vocalist (Berg from Dream Evil) who’s just as over-produced as the chick vocalist and is there to get 14 year old girls all silly over his perfectly groomed dreadlocks. Behind them are several soulless session musicians (from Mercenary, Dragonland and Engel). Though, frankly, this is a band that is functionally made of session musicians, since integrity seems to be lacking.

Deadlock – Bizarro World Review

Deadlock – Bizarro World Review

Heavy metal was once the most popular music in the world. Sure, it was glam rock, but bands that were genuinely cool were doing really well even if they weren’t getting radio play. Think about the success of Metallica pre-black album, or Iron Maiden selling out the Long Beach Arena 4 nights running on the tour for Powerslave. The music was technical, but it was still accessible and the mass appeal was still synonymous with good bands. But since the 1980s the quality of pop music has declined dramatically, and popular rock with it. We have now landed in a bizarro world, where bad, fundamentally not very catchy or interesting bands that lack all content are popular, and where innovators and interesting bands have trouble getting any recognition. But there’s an even more terrible place, and that’s the ill-advised attempts of people to try to blend these two things. No good can come of this.

In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland Review

In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland Review

So I admit, I’ve never heard SoCal pop rockers In This Moment before. This review will be completely devoid of comparisons to their last two records. Nor will it be filled with witty insights into how the band has changed over their time and whether or not this is a darker record (of course, every new record is the darkest, heaviest, etc., that any band has ever done, so trust the bio about as far as you can throw Arnold Schwarzneger). No, this is going to pretty much be a tirade about how much I really don’t like this album at all or the style of music or basically anything about this at all except for Maria’s clean singing voice, which is very good. You are warned. Don’t throw a fit in the comments because I hate your favorite band: I’ve already warned you. If you read past the jump then it’s your own fucking fault.

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast Review

Wow. So, it’s been like 10 years since I’ve listened to Soilwork and it turns out that they don’t sound at all even remotely the same. Sometimes a band falls off your radar and you don’t even think about them at all and honestly, Soilwork is one such band. Now, it’s probably not a surprise to anyone else but I was in utter shock when I turned on The Panic Broadcast to discover that the Gothenburg sound had totally been replaced by eurocore! See, now you’re laughing at my ignorance, but I’m a bit surprised. See, in Angry Metal World, the last record that Soilwork released was actually The Chainheart Machine in 2000. And back then, these guys were playing a not-entirely-novel, but very, very good version of the Gothenburg sound. Turns out in the much lamer real world Soilwork has had a bunch of records and gotten a new vocal style, a new sound and hyper-produced.

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic – Sons of the System Review

Mnemic has been around in the ether for a while but I’ve never given them a proper listen until now. The band has good promo, they’ve toured Europe twice with metal giants (like ’em or not) Metallica, they look like real metal dudes and they’ve got cred because a couple people I know compared them to Meshuggah back when they first came out. Unfortunately, Sons of the System sounds a lot less like Meshuggah and a lot more like Sonic Syndicate. This record is another convergence point for things that I’m not really keen on in the world of metal and I’ll give you a short run-down.