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Sonic Syndicate album review – Confessions

Swedes Sonic Syndicate throw the maternity ward out with the bathwater with new album

Sonic Syndicate album cover

Sonic Syndicate have always had a heap of melodic nous. Even on their earliest, heaviest material the catchiness of their Swedish countrymen’s classic Gothenburg sound was deeply imbedded.

Although, let’s not beat around the bush here: sixth album Confessions has absolutely nothing to do with metal. Clear from the moment the opening title track’s synth-heavy pop leaves you straining to hear even a pinch of guitar, this is a world away from the kind of fayre you’d associate with this magazine.

Outside influences don’t necessarily make you a bad band – in fact the ‘Whoah-oh’ chorus of Start A War is quite the earworm – but, that moment aside, Sonic Syndicate have delivered possibly the blandest, sappiest, most insipid album you’ll read about in these pages this year. The production is sickly, the vocals whiningly emotive to the point of self-parody and the guitars are simply non-existent. If you’re a fan of heavy metal and alternative culture then Confessions deserves nothing other than your utter contempt.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.