Written by: Alex, Bringer of Payne
Cardiff was declared the second most musical city in the UK almost a decade ago, thereby formally recognising the city’s unwavering history of producing musical acts that have gone on to dominate almost every genre. Rightfully so, as countless alternative acts have cut their teeth in the basements and dungeons below Womanby Street’s greatly revered venues. Industry legends such as Bullet for My Valentine, Skindred, Budgie, Persian Risk, Icons of Filth, and Desecration have all been spawned from the South Wales scene, and now Sydney Fate are ‘Diff’s metal scene’s newest contenders. Armed with a healthy duality of cleans and screams, stellar production, and an arsenal of guitars, the sextet have recently released their debut album, Silicon Nitride, to the world.
Bailey Edward’s clean vocals are poppy and soaked in angst, weaving their way throughout the instrumentation with clarity and an understated swagger. Best deployed on "Sound Alive" and "Courthouse Problematic," they’re the crown jewel in Sydney Fates’ arsenal of talent. Similarly, Adam Rapado’s screams are enjoyable for the most part, although they consistently sound a little toothless. However, curling snarls and strong fry vocals do sneak through consistently, particularly on the anthemic "Home," suggesting that the weight of the screams may have been neutered to maintain this release's accessible sound. It’s no surprise that the lyrics feel rather familiar too, as Rapado and Edwards both retread ground that’s been prevalent through most alternative genres.
Themes of introspection, struggle and regret permeate throughout as the duo lament for lost relationships and better times. While a little tired, these topics certainly capture the zeitgeist of early noughties metalcore, and are in keeping with the sound of the release. Indeed, while Silicon Nitride is heavily coloured by it’s emo influences, it remains sonically adjacent to mainstream rock, a combination that sounds distinctly similar to Hands Like Houses and Dance Gavin Dance in practice. The production is impressively sharp for a debut release, courtesy of the capable Graves brothers, who have previously worked on projects for Asking Alexandria and Eyes Set To Kill. Each track feels suitably glossy, with colourful guitars sandwiched between crisp vocals and the appropriately subdued drums, lending this debut some mainstream appeal.
Overall, Silicon Nitride is an unabashed display of synergy. Each component lacks originality, which is hardly surprising for a debut release, but in its entirety the project is powerful thanks to strong musicianship, premium production and faithful execution of a familiar sound. Sydney Fate have produced a consistently enjoyable record that remains indebted to the alternative scene that spawned it, and is sure to be catnip to emo kids everywhere.
Sydney Fate - Silicon Nitride was released April 3rd from Eclipse Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!