(Reality Entertainment) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Most often when a band has influences, they are obvious enough to recognize, but are either incorporated into the band's unique vision, or are so apparent that they become a lesser imitation of their influence. With Sybreed, it's wholly different. From the first moment of "Bioactive," you feel like you're listening to Fear Factory's "Shock", and as it goes on, it becomes In Flames' hit "My Sweet Shadow," from the near identical riffs to the spacey keyboard effects. Then skip to the next track, "ReEvolution", where you might swear that Devin Townsend is singing the distorted, angry parts, before it turns the Burton C. Bell clear parts. Musically on this track, Meshuggah seems to take over the guitarwork. Other songs are much less obvious, but still there.
It's almost unneccesary to describe their sound, which alternates between the above-mentioned influences throughout the rest of the disc with an authenticism that is impressive. As unoriginal as they may be, it's an enjoyable listen! The production is mechanically tight, the playing is technical, and the melodies are quite memorable. And vocalist Ben takes on so many styles on this record, from clean and deep singing, to death growls, and even to a hardcore/metalcore voice. Sybreed would make the most excellent modern metal cover band, seriously. Their capability to play on par with these top acts, and replicate their styles and tones, is remarkable. As far as songwriting goes, their arrangements are good, and the lyrical themes are well-conceived. If you're a fan of modern technical/melodic metal, and you don't mind an album that does't break any ground, "Slave Design" is recommended.