"Black Still Life Pose" (Copro / Casket Records; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I love any band that plays their style of music unapologetically and with real piss and vinegar. Damn the pigeonholes and clichés, full speed ahead!

That's why I enjoyed "Black Still Life Pose" by Northern Ireland's Sinocence so much. The band blends modern thrash with an alternative metal edge in twelve tracks that will you take you by surprise as they ricochet back and forth, coming close to this metal sub-genre and that but never really hitting one dead on. It's a style that's unique yet satisfyingly familiar. 

Take track seven, "Shedding Skin." The song starts out with a chunky, galloping riff that folds effortlessly into a crooning chorus that could have come from a Soundgarden CD. Or track two, which features a Disturbed-like guitar riff and chaotic vocals a la System of a Down. 

It doesn't end there. "Black Still Life Pose" continues for its full one hour plus running time, changing up pace, delivering freshly varied vocals and even slowing down for a near ballad here and there. Yet, despite all the exploration, Sinocence manages to maintain their own identity on each track. Even track 12 which, with its keyboard heaviness, still sounds like Sinocence.

There is one caveat here: If you're a fan of the band, there may not be much new here for you. "Black Still Life Pose" consists of only two new tracks, while the remainder are re-masters from the band's previous CDs, "Acceptable Level of Violence" and "The Beautiful Death Scene." If you're new to the band, this is a great place to start and, even if you are a fan with the band's previous EP's already in your collection, the re-masters do sound considerably better.

Sinocence: Moro - Vocals / Guitar; Anto - Lead Guitar; Kaxxx - Bass / Backing Vocals; Davy - Drums / Backing Vocals.

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"The Beautiful Death Scene" (Copro / Casket Records; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

The raw talent of Sinocence shines in "The Beautiful Death Scene," The musicianship is tight and the song writing throughout is very good, with clever lyrics and thought- provoking storylines that are fun to listen to, although ... at an average of six minutes running time per song ... they may be a little long.

"Death Scene" shows that Sinocence has all the workings of high caliber and very successful future. What this band needs to bring out all the aspects of their raw talent is the financial backing of a record company and a producer who can give them direction and purpose. 

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"Acceptable Level of Violence" (Einstein Studios; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I have to admit that I listened to three Sinocence CDs, 2005's "Black Still Life Pose" and 2004's "The Beautiful Death Scene" and "Acceptable Level of Violence," completely out of order. I started out with the new CD and worked my way backwards. And, it's been several months since I originally reviewed "Black Still Life Pose."

I mention this because, as I listen to "Acceptable Level of Violence," I realize that I've pretty much reviewed the tracks found on this CD when I reviewed "Black Still Life Pose." The latter album contained re-mastered versions of the songs found here and, at the time, I said that the versions on the 2005 CD sounded "considerably better." As I listen to "Acceptable Level of Violence," today, however, I find it hard to imagine that the re-mastered versions sounded that much different. The tracks as found on this CD seem pretty well mixed and mastered. Maybe if I went back and gave the newer CD a listen I could tell the difference but, with several months between listenings, I certainly can't tell you any difference now.

There are only five songs here, of course, compared to the twelve tracks of "Black Still Life Pose," but they're all driving, fast-paced rockers that will leave a mark. Only the fifth track, "Shedding Skin," slows down and it's still a sizzling monster of a tune. 

If you're new to Sinocence, I would still recommend you start with the "Black Still Life Pose" CD, simply because it has the most music to offer. However, "Acceptable Level of Violence" manages to stand on its own as an EP from a band that has plenty more to offer.

Sinocence: Moro - Vocals / Guitar; Anto - Lead Guitar; Kaxxx - Bass / Vocals; Davy - Drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ©2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.