Gareth Morrow – Vocals/Guitar
Anthony McCaughley – Lead Guitar
Bass – Jim Seymour
Drums – Davy Cassa
1 Ascension Code
2 In Kymatica
3 Slavery By Consent
5 Covert Messiah
Making a name for yourself whilst hailing from the upper reaches of Northern Ireland can be a daunting task and is perhaps unsustainable for most. However, one of Ireland’s premier metal acts to emerge, Sinocence, owes much a brutish determination and will to succeed. Set to release the second in a trilogy of EP’s entitled ‘No Gods, No Masters [Vol.2]’, we look to see if this is to be an acclaimed follow up to the original. While the band are perhaps yet to emerge internationally in their own right, their popularity will have no doubt swelled thanks to a number of supports under bands such as Machine Head, Therapy? and Soulfly, as well as performances at UK festivals Hammerfest and Bloodstock.
I’m sure that most would agree; first impressions of the record are very good. At the fore is a vicious and hook-laden majesty of melody with high gain at the core. This is bare roots intense, rhythm based heavy metal that holds a certain charm to the light, largely thanks to the soaring, melodic vocals from guitarist Gareth Morrow.
The album struts along a mid-pace tempo throughout, soaring along that desert highway groove that lets you feel a rush of wind through your hair as you hail one finger aloft in the sun. The combined rhythm of catchy snare-smasher beats and sludgy but satisfying bass that sits high in the mix resonates a pulsating underbelly beneath finely crafted guitar overlays, which are draped delicately over the top to both accentuate the rhythm and drive the whole thing forward.
Trying to find flaws in the record might be a little like trying to find ants in a wasps nest but if I was to pick anything out, I would probably be that, while expertly performed, the lyrics themselves are largely underwhelming. At times, they reminded me more of angst-ridden teen rock. It was perhaps more shocking to me that this comparison would be evident at all as the feeling behind the record seems to be one that has come from their own personal sphere, and would not be one to lean towards this end. Perhaps it would be better to close your ears a little and enjoy the record for what it is, as this is only a minor nitpick.
A strange dichotomy emerges when trying to gauge the overall feel of the album, as what can be described as a thoroughly satisfying listen comes from what I would usually judge to be an overtly ‘safe’ composition of a traditional American rock sound. Sinocence has decided to keep the feel of the album simple, in places where others would have gone for intricacy. This allows the emotion of the record to flow much more easily through the vocals. A preference for individual showmanship would have most likely detracted from this and would have probably seen the record drudged into mediocrity.
While a few of the tracks perhaps go on for a little longer than they should, they all open with such attention-grabbing furore that the bar for your expectations starts out high and the choice to embrace or secede from loving this band is entirely your own. What is for sure is that they have a solid foundation to make a success for themselves and with Volume 3 of the trilogy on the horizon, they may find they have a fan base ready and prepped for those headline shows they surely crave.