Sybreed - The Pulse of Awakening (Listenable/Stomp)

Girls between the ages of 12 and 45 be warned: Singer Ben’s sensual vocals may trigger multiple orgasms. A guaranteed panty-soaker, this is.

Sybreed are an odd bunch that swims in the confluence of Ministry and Meshuggah. They’ve even got those Fear Factory vintage down tuned odd time signatures going on, together with layers of symphonic ambience that further smoothen frontman Ben’s melancholic lyrical utterances. It has quite the hypnotic effect, especially when an orchestra hums alongside the soothing touches of electronica in the background. If not for the often boring length of the songs, The Pulse of Awakening would be a better album than it already is.

The album launches on a strong note with Nomenklatura, which introduces the special concoction Sybreed are brewing. As mentioned, they’ve got Fear Factory grooves and symphonic metal grandeur joined together amid a backdrop of keyboard flourishes that will endear the quartet to the female population.

This scribe believes it is indeed the girl demographic who are most susceptible to Sybreed’s wiles. The heaviness here is rather tame, the melody too infectious, and Ben’s voice, when not alternating between shrill screams, is trembling with heartache. The band—which is quite the compact quartet with just a Thomas playing guitar, a Kevin behind the drums, and a Stephan on bass (sorry, no surnames)—give in to their metallic urges for the far more intense A.E.O.N before the danceable pace of Doomsday Party takes over. Party alright, because the tempo on this song is so upbeat, chicks are gonna be gyrating to it.

There’s an unsurprising black metal segue of the Dimmu Borgir variety at I Am Ultraviolence and it succeeds as a testament to Sybreed’s adept songcraft. When they want to, they can fit square pegs into round holes and the outcome is still attractive.

Following a slew of forgettable tracks that owe their lackluster appeal to Ben’s dull monotone, Lucifer Effect picks up the pace and before you know it the album is careening toward a dramatic finish. Though Love Like Blood doesn’t garner the same appreciation, the tandem of Meridian AD and From Zero To Nothing are worthy enough to leave a decent impression.

A breath of fresh air for ears gored by too much extreme metal, Sybreed are an unpredictable band who shouldn’t be dismissed.

The Pulse of Awakening is out now via Listenable Records.