December 25, 2020

Sole Syndicate is an ’80s inspired hard/melodic rock band from Sweden with Last Days Of Eden being the band’s second album following on from the debut, Garden Of Eden, released in 2016. I haven’t heard the first album but the lyrical theme of this follow up is very much COVID influenced with a dark warning running throughout the album reflecting the fracturing of society that we are seeing today. It’s just one of those things that anger makes for a better rock album and it is obvious that the guys in the band have put everything that they have to give into the album. I suppose it is hardly surprising that the Nordic nations are so passionate about climate and the environment when they live in such a pristine environment and they intend to keep it that way!

Last Days Of Eden falls into the heavy melodic/AOR camp with powerful riffs and growling, churning bass and drums giving the music an almost cataclysmic edge. The band comprises of Jonas Månsson on vocals, Henrik Zetterlund on drums, David Gustafsson on bass with Dennis Heltorp and Niklas Strandanäs on guitar.

You can buy into the lyrics if you wish and the intentions are all very commendable as we do have to be more aware of this big ball of rock that we all live on and how we affect it or you can simply lose yourself in perfectly delivered hard hitting rock that has plenty of hooks and neat vocal harmonies that make the songs very easy to digest but there is also the almost metal under beat that means this album should even appeal even to those who are looking for a heavier metal hit. Having two guitarists like Heltorp and Strandanäs helps as they supply lots of metal themed riffs and searing solos and they play in an attractive and intense way and are happy when trading licks but this is not done in the Judas Priest or twin pronged power metal attack way, rather, the Soul Syndicate pairing keep their work within the confines of the song as a whole rather than component parts and not a note is wasted or unnecessary but there are still plenty of head banging moments too.

As is usual with many of these Swedish bands, the vocals of Jonas Månsson are perfect, no other word suffices, as he drives the band forward with his delivery and power that calls to mind Joey Tempest. If you like your rock to be highly polished as played by the likes of Europe, Alter Bridge and Def Leppard then you will thoroughly enjoy this heavy yet melodic rock album from a band clearly destined to go places. Check out the heavy and anthemic We Came To Rock a song that could virtually be the anthem for the band.

Last Days Of Eden track list

  1. Wake Up (4:23)
  2. …And The Truth Will Set You Free (4:36)
  3. We All Fall Apart (4:56)
  4. Glory Days (5:54)
  5. We Came To Rock (4;32)
  6. Brothers (4:30)
  7. Pain Is Only An Illusion (3:16)
  8. Have You Heard It All Before (3:58)
  9. Bring Us A Hero (5:12)
  10. When Darkness Calls (5:50)