The Pulse Of Awakening
posted on 1/2010 By:
While most of the metal world seems to be collectively creaming their pants over the newly released Fear Factory record (and rightly so, it's superb), fans of Fear Factory and other cyber themed, industrialized metal have known about Switzerland’s Sybreed, who for three albums now have held Fear Factory’s mantle admirably with their competent take on chugging, mechanical metal and clean/growled vocals.
The formula is simple and at times, bruisingly effective, even if the band seems to have added a little commercial, modern metal dash here and there. The mix of lumbering angular riffs and pummeling robotic rhythm section is sturdy and full of hefty moments that are the very epitome of our robot overlords playing metal. However, there is one minor issue that the band throws out there right from the opening tracks “Nomenklatura” and “A.E.O.N” where Ben’s strangely alluring but nasal clean vocals will simply be a love ‘em or hate ‘em affair for most listeners. Granted they are not deal breakers but they certainly get some getting used to.
Musically though, even with their slightly more commercial lean and clean vocals (“Killjoy,” ballad “In the Cold Light” and lackluster cover of Killing Joke’s “Love Like Blood” being the most notorious offenders), Sybreed have their cyber assault down pat with expected reliance on Fear Factory meets Meshuggah stylings. Though clean choruses are abound, riff wise, tracks like “Human Black Box,” “I am the Ultraviolence,” “Electronegative” and menacing “Meridian AD” with the help of Rhys Fulber’s (Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly, Paradise Lost) massive production, deliver lurching clinical riffs and heaving stop/start heft that’s glossed with just enough programming and synths to remind you it's cyber metal. Some classical orchestration even surfaces to start arguable standout “The Lucifer Effect,” with a simply epic last few moments to die for.
The album closes with the 19 minute (though only half is actually music) track “From Zero to Nothing,” a somber angular ballad with some very slight Dimmu Borgir-isms appearing here and there in the synth work but it closes out a grower of an album that should keep Sybreed within cyber metal royalty while Fear Factory reclaim their throne.
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