Friday, May 28, 2004

Review: Sinocence - Acceptable Level of Violence (2004)

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Acceptable Level of Violence

Hailing from Belfast in Northern Ireland, Sinocence is a young modern thrash band who've already churned out three demos in their short history, Acceptable Level Of Violence being their latest. A quality effort that highlights the band's talent and their knack for composing and executing interesting songs, the 5 tracks on Acceptable Level Of Violence show the band capable of a multi-tiered approach to their style of metal.

The first track, "Makin A Monster", is pretty unambiguous metal incorporating elements of late Bay Area thrash. Frontman Moro sings in a gravelly voice well-suited to the music, as it mixes easily with the aggressive riffs and thundering bass. What struck me as noteworthy about this first song is the multi-layered vocals during the chorus, which has become something of a lost art in today's metal. Subtleties such as this permeate Acceptable Level Of Violence, hinting at the potential Sinocence has to break out and become something big. My favorite track on the album is "Six Second Stare", with it's dual-guitar attack and big classic metal sound. Moro and Anto team up for some beefy riffs, accentuated by Anto's meaningful leads and Caxxx's conspicuous bass.

It's at this point that the band switches gears and pursues a more modern thrash direction, incorporating many aspects from the '90s and current metal scenes. Obtrusive bass, down-tuned riffs, and vocals with distinct emotional range are to be found in abundance on the three remaining tracks. Interestingly enough, it's in this environment that Anto really lets loose with extensive soloing. None of that virtuoso wankery, just soulful guitar playing that fits well with the overall song structures. The highlight of this group of songs would have to be "Inside", with its distinct Soundgarden texture. While the influence is obvious, be it intentional or purely coincidence, the song still stands on its own merits. Moro proves yet again that he's the real deal behind the microphone. Not bothering to concern himself with vocal acrobatics, he just gets down to business and relays his message in a raw, gritty style that is unequivocally his own.

Acceptable Level Of Violence won't take the world by storm, but as a vehicle designed to draw attention to a young metal band with the skill, talent, and balls to eventually make a mark on the scene this demo does its job. At the time of this review, the band is in the process of writing material for their fourth demo and is tearing up the gig scene in their home country and England. Stop by their website, lay out a few bucks for their demo, and help these guys get the attention they deserve.

Track Listing
1 Makin A Monster 4:27
2 Six Second Stare 5:01
3 Anything For The Next Escape 5:20
4 Inside 4:10
5 Shedding Skin 5:29

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