Power of Metal.dk Review

God is an Automaton
Style: Death Wave
Release date: 24 September, 2012
Playing time: 59:40

Sybreed has certainly changed quite a bit since their debut album, “Slave Design”. What started out as an industrial band in the vein of Fear Factory has since become an amazing, mature band that has their own sound.  In fact, they even have a name for it: Death Wave. This refers to a sort of new age death metal that is heavily influenced by progressive metal, death metal, electronica, and new wave music. Indeed, these guys know what they want to sound like, and they hit the nail on the head every single album. 

“God is an Automaton” is no exception to this statement. Sybreed here showcases their further maturation and experimentation in the progressive metal scene. In fact, I have been noticing a certain amount of negative reviews for Sybreed's last few albums just because they seem to be espousing prog metal so closely. For me, however, this is a joy. Within this newest album, Sybreed experiments with all kinds of odd time signatures, progressive song structures, and they even come close to an “epic”. In fact, the final track on the album, “Destruction and Bliss”, is a genuine prog metal piece. So, I know there are some disappointed fans out there; but, in my eyes, Sybreed is maturing to a comprehensive state.

Within “God is an Automaton”, Sybreed do not really mess with their musical formula. They still have a nice mix of harsh and clean vocals (my favorite harsh vocals of any band, by the way), virtuoso lead guitars, crunching and slamming djent-style rhythms, and ambient synth that cuts through the heavy mix. Of course, no one can forget the drums.  Drummer Kevin is probably the best drummer of his style in music today. I know that is an amazing statement, but I cannot think of anyone else that is better. He has not only an ear for ultra-complex rhythms and melt-your-face blast beats, but he also has a knack for truly interesting beats. He joined the band with their second release, “Antares”, and blew me away with the complexity. Then, in “Pulse of Awakening”, Kevin wowed me with his experimentation with unique and odd beats. Now, in “God is an Automaton”, he has floored me again with his fantastic off-tempo focus.  So, the musicianship is still at the top of the game, and the vox are as wonderful as ever.

As for concept, I also feel that Sybreed has matured greatly. This album focuses on the question of human suffering; and, while I don’t agree with all of the conclusions, I still respect them for such a deep topic. This topic and the album in general reach their high point with the second track, “No wisdom brings solace”. This song is amazing lyrically, musically, and just about every other way imaginable. It is good enough that it is definitely in my top 5 songs of 2012. Other high points include the final two tracks, “Into the blackest light” and the aforementioned “Destruction and bliss”. What I keep coming back to again and again is the fact that this album is genuinely progressive in almost every track, and this excites me. “God is an Automaton” is a fantastic album, one of the best of 2012, one of the best offerings that Sybreed has given us (Antares beats it by a slim margin), and a masterpiece that promises even better things to come. Stay tuned.

01. Posthuman Manifesto
No wisdom brings solace
The line of least resistance
Red Nova ignition
God is an automaton
Hightech versus lowlife
Downfall inc.
A radiant daybreak
Into the blackest light
Destruction and bliss
Label: Listenable Records
Distribution: Soulfood
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 3 March, 2013
Website: www.sybreed.com