Sybreed - The Pulse Of Awakening

It’s troubling to witness that Swiss-based industrial/metal act Sybreed (it’s an industrial cliché to merge sci-tech words like in this case, Synthetic and Breed) are still trying to figure out their niche in the music world on their third full-length record.
While previous album ‘Antares’ saw the four-piece trying to emulate a futuristic sound in the vein of Fear Factory and infuse it with the melodic sensibilities of Soilwork circa ‘Natural Born Chaos’, this new work ‘The Pulse Of Awakening’ demonstrate that Sybreed have moved on and broadened their scope slightly by incorporating nuances and textures from wider musical influences, but ultimately still failing to achieve a full grown sound that could be tagged as all of their own. The core of their compositions still reside in a industrial electro-metal hybrid, but for the most part, the album quickly comes across a generic melange of a handful of other bands from various styles watered down by melodic choruses and electro-pop sounds.
Album opener ‘Nomenklatura’ lurches into the industrial-based metal chugging popularized by bands like Static-X coupled with a precise and synthetic drumming akin to Fear Factory and a vocal performance that veers from a granting groan to a gentle baritone croon. So far nothing new, but on the second track ‘A.E.O.N.’, Sybreed strays into a more enjoyable and fiercer sound-structure, balanced between the fervent riffage of Thomas ‘Drop’ backed up by the double-bass drumming of Kevin Choiral and a more mellower and atmospheric section, dominated by the powerful clean singing of Benjamin Nominet only halted by his harsh rasps fairly reminiscent of Samael’s Vorph. The influence of their Swiss comrades can also be felt on the rabid ‘I Am Ultraviolence’, an ultra-fast theme merging blastbeats with viciously fast and fierce guitars, basically sounding like a better behaved Samael crossed with Strapping Young Lad, yet in the end the result is extremely engaging.
But then, on songs like ‘Doomsday Party’ and ‘Human Black Box’ we go back to a pedestrian industrial structure that sounds like Static-X or Spineshank’s recycle bin, with ear-candy, mellow electronics and simple chorus that are easy to remember, but ultimately start to become tiring and boring on repeated listens.
In other tracks, such as Kill Joy’, ‘In the Cold Light’ and the closing track ‘From Zero to Nothing’, Sybreed delves into a mellower and calmer sonority, achieving a pleasing aural effect which isn’t too far removed from 80’s electro-industrial acts like Front Line Assembly and Killing Joke, even tough it’s Paradise Lost circa ‘Host’ that ‘In the Cold Light’ reminds me the most.
In the end, there’s a good balance between melody and intensity throughout ‘The Pulse Of Awakening’, making it a fairly equilibrated listening experience that occasionally becomes exciting and entertaining. Yet, on the overall it seems that Sybreed are still musically confused and unfocused, unsure on what side of the fence they’d like to jump into and develop their own distinct identity.

David Alexandre

Band info:
Label info: