Last Days Of Eden

Sole Syndicate are a hard rock band from Sweden formed in 2015. releasing their debut album 'Garden Of Eden' in 2016. The follow up, 'Last Days Of Eden' was released in 2020.    
Sweden is a country with a long heritage of producing successful hard rock (and heavy metal) bands, with the country seeing a resurgence in recent years. So much great music has emerged from Sweden in just the last few years it's been very hard to keep up with all their exports. But one export that is making a massive impact are Sole Syndicate - a thumping hard rock band that have just released their second album. Featuring many "old school" rock and metal influences, Sole Syndicate offer ten songs of groove laden hard rock that border on the heavy metal zone. So let's get going with the albums opening song 'Wake Up' - a heavy hitting yet highly melodic opener with a foot stomping groove, a groove that is catchy and infectious, and runs through the album right to the final curtain call. But before then, the happy mood inducing feel continues apace with the heavier and groovier '...And The Truth Will Set You Free' - a punchy and head bang able song that is gonna appeal to the metal heads, not just the rockers. And that chorus, just wow - it's sing a long able, it's melodic, it's infectious, it's simply gorgeous. I defy anyone not to be smiling right now...    
With an upturn in pace and punchiness, 'We Fall Apart' rocks harder than either of the opening two songs - yet loses absolutely none of that amazing melodic groove that Sole Syndicate seem to have in abundance. During many of my reviews, I do try and compare a bands sound to the greats of the past - but am having real difficulty here 'cause Sole Syndicate are kinda standing out there on their own. And that's what I love so much about rock and metal music - you think you know it all, and then BAM! You get caught out and totally surprised by something (or should that be someone) new. With a more mellow beginning, 'Glory Days' opens with (and here comes a comparison) a Marillion 'Kayleigh' similarity - you remember Marillion? The British rock band fronted by Fish! 'Kayleigh' featured on the bands 1985 album 'Misplaced Childhood'. The similarity at the beginning of 'Glory Days' is uncanny, the mellow classic rock aura is spot on, and the fact Sole Syndicate include a lyric that appears as the opening line to 'Kayleigh' is the icing on the cake for me. The tone in which the bands singer sings "do you remember" is spookily similar... Anyway, getting back on track, 'Glory Days' gets heavier the longer it runs, taking in the glorious scenery of power ballad country as it strolls on by.    
Just how many more surprises have Sole Syndicate got in their arsenal? Well, with six songs left, it could be six! And in the mighty shape of the rock anthem 'We Came To Rock' it's definitely another one. There are touches of the doom heavy and cinematic epic style of the legendary Dio, especially across the chorus break. I can just see it now, in-concert audiences everywhere will be screaming "we came to rock" - with 'We Came To Rock' a new rock anthem for a new age. And fuck me, the energy and oomph that 'Brothers' explodes into life with is phenomenal. The pace, the power, the catchiness and the sing a long ability of 'Brothers' is red hot. 'Brothers' is definitely a "get the party started", no "get the party started and party all night" tune. Moving in a much heavier direction, 'Pain Is Only An Illusion' brings a level of aggression to the album not heard before. Imagine the offspring from a 'Slave To The Grind'-era Skid Row and a 'Vulgar Display Of Power'-era Pantera - and you'll have some idea of what 'Pain Is Only An Illusion' sounds like.    
Sole Syndicate are making a late run to claim the Album Of The Year title. 'Last Days Of Eden' has surprised in so many ways. The bands signature sound of groove laden melodic hard rock rises high to the surface with aplomb, as 'Have You Heard It All Before' relentlessly rocks hard. The infectiousness of 'Have You Heard It All Before' is incredible, with heads banging, feet stomping, and arms raised high in the air all around the world. Oh my, the riff that opens 'Bring Us A Hero' is a knee weakener, an adrenalin shot, and a pulse racer. The blend of groove and the classic NWOBHM style is a magnificent sound, with 'Bring Us A Hero' taking on the mantle of anthemic rock. 'When Darkness Calls' is the final song on the album, an album that has passed by in no time at all, when in reality, almost fifty minutes have passed by. 'Last Days Of Eden' has stunned and amazed from start to finish - finishing with a flourish, courtesy of the swaggering 'When Darkness Calls'. Sole Syndicate introduce an element of AOR to the chorus, melding it with their signature sound to produce one of the best sing a longs the album has to offer. A great way to end a great album.    
Overall, a groove laden and hugely melodic hard rock album, full of stunning surprises from start to finish.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV