Released: 2005, Pivotal Rockordings
The first release of a new record label is extremely important for its survival. There are two main reasons for this. The first one has to do with the fact that a new label usually releases a new band. This band will have to be extremely good, so the label better know it kills, cause if it doesn’t, there is a big chance that things will not work out in the future. The second reason has to do with distribution issues. A new label struggles really hard to get a proper distribution, and when it finally does, we have another problem, read reason number one.
So this brings us to the first release of Pivotal Rockordings; Sonic Syndicates EDEN FIRE. Sonic Syndicate is a six piece Swedish combo (3 are brothers) that plays Melodic Death Metal with incredible keyboards. They sound like latter day In Flames and Soilwork. The only difference here, is that while In Flames and Soilwork have leaned towards more wimpy sounding machines, Sonic Syndicate are definitely on the brutal side.
The CD opener is the powerful Jailbreak. The only song that contains a sort of clean sounding Metalcorish chorus. It is a killer. Then we have Enhance My Nightmare where we get to hear female vocals in the chorus courtesy of Karin Axelsson, their bass player. Unfortunately, the following three songs, History Repeats Itself, Zion Must Fall and Misanthropic Coil, lack catchiness and hooks which definitely makes them fillers.
Thankfully things pick up again in Lament of Innocence and remain that way until the end. Soulstone Splinter, my favorite song in EDEN FIRE, reminded me of early In Flames for its beautiful twin guitar approach, and the last song, Where the Black Lotus Grows, has an awesome doomy beginning that goes straight to the wrist.
The production is stellar and courtesy of Studiomega, one of the best Metal studios in the world. It sounds a lot like a Daniel Bergstrand recording (In Flames, Soilwork Darkane) being very punchy and straight in your face.
In the end, and after reviewing the first CD from both the band and the label, I believe that EDEN FIRE is a release that has everything to place Pivotal Rockordings, as well as Sonic Syndicate, on the Metal map. So there it is, my final verdict. EDEN FIRE may not be the best piece of music out there, but it surely is a very strong release that showcases a very young and hungry band with what seems to be a bright future. Had only the fillers been gone…