SYBREED – “God is an Automaton” Review; Release Date – October 2nd 2012
Sybreed have almost single-handed defined a new genre of Metal, A combination of Progressive, Melodic, Groove, Industrial and Death Metal, to which they are dubbing “Cyber Metal”, A very fitting genre name, and after listening to their new album, you will understand as well.
Only their fourth Studio album from Listenable Records, they have recreated a metal sound that weighs heavily on their influences. Influences such as, Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Inflames, so far so good, but also Depeche Mode? A British Synth-Rock band that was huge in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For their alternative style of Electronic, Alternative Dance, new wave music…. Synth-Rock.
Benjamin Nominet, Vocals and chief lyrics writer, has a style almost reminiscent to some female vocalists such as Alissa White-Gluz from ‘The Agonist’. Or more well known vocalist Devin Townsend, in terms of going from that deep throte demonetize vocal rumble to the more soft clean sounds, and back again, its something that you don’t see very often, and if used correctly, it can make a song just that much more. Benjamin does this with zero effort.
Thomas “Drop” Betrisey, Guitar and Electronics, is a well verse and suitably able producer, sound engineering and recording master, known to help, produce and be part of more than just a few bands. Rain, Noma, Fade, Transit, BAK XIII, Zonaria, Hypocras, just to name but a few, not to mention doing more than I can shake a stick at re-mixes. In this album he has made his impact well known, Putting that ‘Cyber’ in Metal.
On Drums we have Kevin Choiral, Although only a young chap, and only playing for Sybreed as his main band, his talent and mastery of the percussion is outstanding, Very creative, always seems to surprise the listener, almost a jazz like temperament for the metal world. This new album is no exception, every track is always something new, practically never repeating himself, a lot of freedom to do his own thing,
Bass guitarist, Ales Campanelli, has always made his stamp on Sybreed, truly putting that ‘Groove’ into everything, adding that crunch and brutal low tones. Not the most technical player out there, but he does have that ability to break things up and just take that heaviness, just that little bit more. Throughout this album it is easy to recognize when he is playing as my pen pot on my speaker kept shacking off my speaker.
Rhys Fulber, Mixing and arrangements, is probably best known for his work with Fear Factory, in particular his work on Remanufature Cloning Technology, and that is very notable here as there are a few similarities between the two.
From start to end it is a very orchestrated designed album, lots of studio time and work, and has indeed produced something very unique. I cant think of a singular band in which to compare this too. The only description I could give it would be flying through space, and space fights, try to remember them sci-fi films from the 70’s and you will have some idea of what I’m on about.
Fast, Technical, seamless, with some soft clean vibes chucked in for good measure to make sure they covered all angles of their creation.
The Title track is probably the most extreme example of this “Cyber Metal” adding an air of that digitalization, as previously mentioned but…. just…… more of it. Complex drums, deep, broken riffs, clean and very simple background synth that all of a sudden becomes the main feature at times, very breath taking. And taking that vocals from Benjamin, going in and out of the clean to scream tying the lot together. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
In Conclusion, Not to everyone’s taste, but very original, and compared to their last album, “The Pulse of Awakening”, they have somehow improved this style of metal, and just gone one better. If you liked Fear Factory or dare I say it, Depeche mode, you must have a listen.
Sources: Sybreed.com, Listenable Records, Sybreed Facebook/Myspace, Metal-archives.com