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Sonic Riot - Sonic Riot

Sonic Riot
Sonic Riot
by Kevin Lewis at 13 July 2020, 6:08 PM

SONIC RIOT is a five-piece band formed in Graz, Österreich (Austria) in 2015. With a distinct sound reminiscent of 80’s hard rock and heavy metal, they have released their eponymous debut independently on December 14, 2019. There is a definite nod to the NWOBHM and German power metal use of dual lead guitars and alternating solos.

This album starts off with a piercing, high pitched scream. “Sonic Riot” shares a name with the record and the band. As Raphael Tukovics implores us to “Start a Sonic Riot”, he does so with a note not easy to hit by most men or ordinary vocalists. He gets up there with the likes of King Diamond, but he spends significantly more time in that vocal range during this song. The guitar riff is good and the bass/drum beat underneath are solid. “Hard Nights” keeps the record moving forward consistently with some crunchy dual guitar work.

Jumping forward to “The Song Never Heard” we hear the band start with a softer melody that leads into a slower paced vocal offering. The song does move into a comfortable rhythm that seems to allow us to feel remorse, even regret, for songs that never make it to the light for some reason. Imagine the music never heard because of the untimely deaths of some of the great songwriters… that’s what this song evokes for me. This takes us to “A World That Only Harms”, another rocker that speaks of how society could be nice, but niceness has been removed and now we get the worst of what is to come. Healing is no longer an option.

The song the doesn’t really seem to fit on this record is “Razor D” which seems to be the sinful song of lust and decadence. It feels like a nod to the old MOTLEY CRUE and KISS type song of a guy with a lot of prowess and stamina. This sounds more like it belongs on a STEEL PANTHER album. While it is not a bad song, it doesn’t seem to belong here. The theme is just out of tune with the rest of the record.

SONIC RIOT is a pretty good, up-and-coming band that has a lot of potential. My main issue is consistency. Some songs have a lot of higher pitched vocals and others hardly go there. The themes jump around some also. As this is a debut album and self-released, I really think this band could benefit from some expert guidance. I like their songwriting, but they could work on their lyrics a little. Musically, they are solid, just could use some advice from those in the business longer. For a band that has only been around five years and is already moving this far forward, they have made an impressive start and I look forward to where they go from here.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  6
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Sonic Riot
2. Hard Nights
3. Break the Chains
4. The Songs Never Heard
5. A World That Only Harms
6. Straight On
7. A Sin For a Sin
8. Release the Anger
9. Razor D
10. Dead Electric
Raphael Tukovics – Vocals
Andrej Samsanovich – Bass
Loris Duff – Drums
Paul Arzberger – Guitar
Markus Schemitsch – Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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