Sinocence have been on the scene for quite some time forming back in early 2000 and quikly releasing a rapid fire sucession of demos in which they went about the process of perfecting their craft. The growth between their first demo "Embracing Decadence" released in 2001 and their fourth demo "The Beautiful Death Scene" in 2004 shows a band who kept growing and building upon a solid foundation. Now I hold in my hands and sit down to listen to their third full-lenght album "No Gods, No Masters Vol 1" and let me tell you they have come a long way since they took their first tentative steps with their initial slew of demos, the growth and development in all departments is clearly apparent and the key word for this band is classic sowngwriting skills, they know how to write a good song and hold the listeners attention throughtout this album. The album clocks in at just over 33 mins and includes a mere 5 songs so there is time for messing about and the band set about delivering the goods with all killer and no filler material on offer. Every passionate vocal to every heavy riff, melodic lick and simply put amazing solo is here for a reason, the benefit of the song. I have a feelling amongst fans of the band this will be the one which goes down in the books as their magnum opus.
To the songs themselves the band play what I would call classic metal played in a contemporary style which is all their own. I guess the classic part is mostly in the songwriting as the band really do have an up to date sound. Heavy riffs, soaring melodies, great guitar playing holding the listener transfixed by the sheer metallic quality on offer. The first real standout moment for me is the centrepiece of this album "Occams Razors" which starts of with a great "Leviathan" era Mastodon riff and just crushes from the beginning to end, contrasting between light and shade which shows a band at the top of their game. A truly superb vocal performance in which the vocalist wins me over because at first I felt some trepidation towards some of the more melodic vocals but in no way does this band go into some of the more tiresome metalcore choruses which just really ruin the music for me, here you just get great vocals which can translate a good melody. With some of the more considerate passages they show they can spread their wings and grow beyond the confines of pure metal. From this moment the album just builds and builds becoming an uncontainable monster. Just listen to the groove on "Cruelty in Silence" and tell me you do not start uncontrollably headbanging and raising your metal horns with pride in salute of a damn fine riff. All in all an invigorating passionate listen from beginning to end.
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