Sons of the System is a par for the course album for Mnemic. Most people either really like or really hate Mnemic, not a lot in between. Mnemic definitely have what can be called a “signature sound”, very industrial, very futuristic, and also very formulaic. If you like the formula, that works out for you, if you hate the formula, this is probable not your band and Sons of the System will not change your mind. If you are a a fan of their past effort, go out and buy Sons of the System. If you hated it before, odds are you will not like it now.
Mnemic is full of talented musicians, and despite several line up changes, they remain a very skilled band. There is a hint of Meshuggah here in the guitars, but that’s where the comparison ends, though Tomas is apparently a big fan of this album. There is a bit of new metal in the vocals, sort of like new Mudvayne; singing thing that happens in the chorus in most of the songs. These vocals will either be loved or hated. Some will find they make the music more accessible, and others will find them jarring and think they water down the sound like drowning a hot wing in blue cheese dressing. Blue cheese is great on a salad. Do Mnemic really want to be a salad? The perspective of the listener will determine the answer to that question.
The guitar work here is really quite good, morphing from complex rhythmic madness to driving riffs while overlaying haunting and grand melodies. This includes the bass work, top notch playing throughout. The bass lines are solid and have moments where they break away from the norm and add their own dimension to the songs, though the tone at certain times gets a little less than clear. The keys however, are mostly ambient and very drone-y. There are entire genres built around keys like this (mostly for peole who like vampires a little too much), so if you like that sort of thing you will like them here. Many bands mix the keys insanely loud relative to everything else, like listening to someone whisper in one ear while firing a .45 next to the other. Thankfully, that is not the case on Sons of the System. This review is based on the version of the album with no bonus tracks. However, there is a version with two extra tracks available.
Overall this is a very strong Mnemic album, and if you are a fan you will most likely dig this record. If you are not, continue to stay away, there is nothing really new in terms of direction from the band on Sons of the System.
1. Sons of the System
4. The Erasing
5. Climbing Towards Stars
6. March of the Tripods
9. Elongated Sporadic Bursts
Bonus tracks not included in review:
12. Dreamjunkie (Bonus)
13. Orbsons of the System (Leatherstrip Remix)(Bonus)