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Sinicle - Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons
by James Peterson at 19 November 2017, 11:33 AM

SINICLE’s Bandcamp page pretty accurately describes what they’re clearly going for as a blend of influences from metal, rock and the blues, and I’m definitely a person who’s more privy to music with diverse stylistic influence. Immediately, however, when the first song after a guitar and noise intro begins to play I already have mixed feelings. I think what’s going on musically to start off this record is kinda cool: “Damnation” presents a blend of ENTOMBED-style death metal mixed with some piercing hardcore style vocals. Blast beats in the first riff evolve into some more thrash inspired and dissonant passages. Sadly, the sound engineering here is just atrocious. The mix is muddy on all accounts and completely overrun by the most unpleasant guitar tone I’ve heard all year. It literally sounds like not just one bad bass metal distortion petal, but rather as though a chain of them was used to make this tone.

Everything in the song “Death Coast” sounds done to death from it’s conventional song structure to the vocal style to the approach to the groovy and chordy riffs. This also feels like the third review in a row I’ve had to mention the clean vocals have a bit of pitch problems. The harshes are clearly more hardcore influenced, but the timbre of these screams comes across as shrill and difficult to swallow. It’s almost an out of control yelp, like he’s just trying to literally scream at the top of his lungs

The softer parts of the compositions on here in general all either have promise or are just straight up good, and like I said previously some of the heavier moments do as well. There’s some great riffing and soloing right in the middle of the title song, which is one of the better songs offered here. By the time we get to “Rabbit Hole,” the vocals do a 180 and start really impressing me, and so does their approach to musical diversity. Almost the entire song has the vocals alternating between MUNICIPAL WASTE-esque thrashy vocals over befittingly similar riffs, and sections that clearly bring the work of Mike Patton to mind. Oddly enough, even though I’ve said the pure singing tone and pure screaming tone don’t really work too well musically on their own in the context of this album, somehow the mid-point between them actually does. This is easily the strongest song on the album overall, and it would be great to see the band take this side of their sound further, especially vocally, as the following song “Baltimore” continues the heavy riffing sound but the vocals are performed more how they are for a good chunk of the first half of the record.

“Broken Silence” has one of the better vocal performances on here Instrumentally alone it’s probably the best cut here. It starts and closes with a really neat little 7/4 lick, and it’s a rockier more chord strumming song, but it really conveys a genuine mood and keeps your interest, unfortunately unlike the song that directly follows it: “Free Like Me,” which also includes an almost silly spoken word uttering of the song’s title. Though that one does have a really cool riff fifty seconds in which repeats a number of times. And there’s a guttural/classic death metal style vocal bit on this at one point, which is another style pulled off well.

Despite some drawbacks in the sound engineering, and vocal delivery choices that can make this album a more difficult listen than it otherwise might have been, there’s some seriously interesting and successful musical moments on here to balance it out somewhat as well. The most standout moments here are the clean guitar ideas, extreme metal influenced sections instrumentally and vocally, and that one really fucking cool Mike Patton-y bit in “Rabbit Hole.” I think if the band focused on maintaining the diversity they have whilst cutting it down to what they do well, including cutting the various shorter tracks that don’t offer much and come across quite literally as filler, there’s a possibility a follow up record to this could be a significant improvement.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 3

2 Star Rating

2. Damnation
3. Death Coast
4. Angels & Demons
5. Miller Time
6. Rabbit Hole
7. Baltimore
8. Esoteric
9. Broken Silence
10. Free Like Me
11. Operations Activate
Drew Zaragoza – Vocals / Guitar
Justin Miller – Bass / Vocals
Hector Llentillin - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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