Mnemic – Sons of the System (Nuclear Blast Records)

Sunday, 17th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

If you’re Mnemic and have all but tapped out the Euro industrial/cyborg style they’re often considered creators of, Sons of the System is the logical route. Whereas 2007’s Passenger toyed with big pop hooks, Sons of the System embraces them, thus clashing with the Danes sleek, but staunchly heavy modern metal style.

Opener “Sons of the System” gives headway as to where this one is headed, leading off with an airy, radio-friendly chorus. It’s not as much of a surprise as it is just soft, which is a shame considering the generally jarring framework of the song. Singer Guillaume Bideau has been thrust to the fore here and on the 10 additional songs with mixed results. Sometimes his syrupy clean vocals strike paydirt (“The Erasing,” “Fate” and “Orbiting”), other times they’re just too poppy for their own good (“Diesel Uterus,” “March of the Tripods”).

In fact, the decision to rely on Bideau’s vocals has negated Mnemic’s once-vaunted staccato riffing, something that Audio Injected Soul such a success. The element of extremity that was prominent on Audio… has been pushed aside for more simplistic riff avenues and there’s no real push to any of these songs, save for maybe the front end of “Mnightmare” and “Hero(in).”

You could see where Mnemic wants to go with Sons of System and it’s either to challenge Volbeat for commercial bragging rights or perhaps they’ve fully exhausted the sound of their earlier albums. We’re not exactly sure, but the all-too-accessible strands of most of these choruses suggest Mnemic is ready to ditch their once promising industrial metal sound for something entirely new altogether.

www.myspace.com/mnemic

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)