I didn’t know what to expect from this offering from Socionic, and even if I did I would not have been anywhere close.
Do you like Tool? Do you like NIN? Do you like Karnvool? Maybe even an album that takes you on a magical journey that melds prog, rock, metal, and some downright brutality? Okay then, sit still, read this review, and then check out some tracks on the link below.
‘Dividing Horizon’ twists and turns and changes from song to song. It grabbed me from the very first note until the last. I am not a huge prog fan, but the thing about this album is it gives you lots in little pieces. Like an obese kid on a strict diet,
“No, you cannot have that, have some ear blowing riffs. That is enough of that. Now, have some slow and beautiful harmonies.”
Some of the songs are in your face winners from the off, whereas some will take some time to seep through your skin and permeate your being, but once they have got there, they won’t leave, the little buggers. I also have to comment on the sound, as it is brilliant throughout. It helps tell the story of the album. It is huge in parts, and quiet in others, letting the songs tell their own story.
The album kicks off with “Fearful”, and some really heavy riffage. As I heard this, I thought we must have some screaming but no, it is more like a distorted, trippy vocal, as long as that trip was to a very dark, evil and angry place. A very huge composition, and a sign of what is to come. “Sanctity” is next, and for me, hands down winning track… what a riff to kick off with. The track just grabs you and does not want to let go. In fact, it is like a grapple with a grizzly bear… you too will feel so emphatic when it ends… just as if you had survived said attack. This track sells the album right off the bat. It was the second single, and is included in the below link. Go listen, and tell me I am wrong.
“Myopia” starts like a myriad of 80’s songs, but settles early with eerie vocals from Michael Meinhart. A definite NIN homage and running Trent hard for his money. “Luminous Shadow” hits us on the prog, hippy, stoner path. The song builds to ever dizzying heights. “Unity” takes the journey from slow to riffage to an almost reggae bass beat, with everything tied together by an amazing vocal range and an all-encompassing Dream Theater feel.
“Ascending Horizon” does what is says on the tin. It clocks in at over six minutes, not that you would know it. It continues the previous song’s feel, just more majestically, and you really get a feel of a disappearing horizon. Every time you think you have reached the top, it drops you in a valley with a steeper climb to manipulate. “Window Cell” slows everything down and takes on a strange, almost medieval, vibe.
“Obsidious Divide” ramps up the violent, almost sociopathic, vibe. The complex movements and vocals on show once more, and this only leaves us with final track “System’s Son” and what a way to bow out. A ferocious repetitive whipping of your eardrums.
This really is a great offering, and they deserve all the praise they are receiving from both this release and their live shows. I would love to see this played out live on stage, just to see just how they pull off such a panoramic and dynamic sound.
Socionic is Michael Meinhart (vocals) Matthew Denis (bass) Lior Dar (drums) Billy Graczyk (guitar)
Review: Ritchie Birnie