Sybreed
Slave Design

Sybreed sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard…literally. Unless of course you’ve heard a hybrid mix of Meshuggah, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo and Fear Factory, all taking place on a sonic landscape that reminds you of the Matrix – complete with visceral screams of human suffering and the never ending madness taking place here on Planet Earth.”

If this statement from the band’s website gets you harder than a 102 year-old man watching Trimspa-commercials, this is for you. However, if you are a discerning music fan with any sense of musical decency and taste, then you will immediately cease reading this review and proceed to listen to something better.

This Swiss band, while possessing a solid guitar tone, simply delivers the kind of pseudo-cyber-Nu metal similar to Psionic and to some extent, Mnemic, that for some reason annoys me. Futuristic buzzing and whirring overlays mechanically overproduced riffs and varying degrees of screaming and Gary Numan-ish clean singing. And while the guitars keep things relatively “metal”, the songs themselves are poor attempts to create a sort of post-nuclear, cybernetic/Matrix world that Fear Factory adeptly created in their prime.

I won’t lie, the initial moments of album opener “Bioactive” had me briefly excited about this record, but it did not last long, and truthfully, a few of the albums opening riffs start promisingly heavy enough but generally deconstruct into predictable chunk fests with clean vocal breaks and sample laden frivolity that is the sonic equivalent of a clichéd, neon light infested, future cityscape.

I guess my main issue is with the flat vocals of Benjamin Maryan, who never conveys the bleak robotic style that the music tries to create; his croon is more suited to a Goth rock bands like Entwine or Charon, while his forced scream never really matches the intensity of some of the bands moderately acceptable musings.

These musings range from synthetically laced choppiness (“Synthetic Breed”, “Rusted”), to some mechanically charged if completely fabricated and entirely too lengthy cyber metal chunk (“Take the Red Pill”, “Static Currents”). Fear Factory is an obvious influence, including ‘cool’ named remixes of two tracks-“ReEvolution (Syntax Airplay Edit)” & “Decoy (Radio Slave Edit)”, with the robotic riffs and futuristic stylings, and even the “Resurrection” like cybergeddon-ish theme of album closer “Critical Mass”.

The band’s self described statement above is accurate, but rather than a fluid mix of all the bands (which might have been an interesting concoction), the end result is a mass of knotted wires and fried circuitry than doesn’t seem to function as a single entity, rather it hacks into their influences and spits them out verbatim as one beeping, buzzing mass of hackneyed data. I’m usually a production whore, but even the thick distorted and suitably futuristic production, seems like a forced sheen on overwhelmingly average and plagiarized material.

Given a certain mood or state of mind, Sybreed might have some appeal but to those not clad in PVC pants and thigh high boots in an alternate computer generated reality, Sybreed comes across as flat as the movie sequels they so obviously admire.

…End Program…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 7th, 2004

Comments

  1. Commented by: Apollyon

    Must say that this is a review I have to disagree with ;)


  2. Commented by: Features › Interview with Sybreed › Teeth of the Divine

    […] first sight, The Pulse of Awakening seems to be a completely different album from Slave Design and […]


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