Sonic Syndicate Eden Fire

Sonic Syndicate’s first full-length is loaded with groove and catchy riffs but never quite breaks through the familiarity barrier. Eden Fire revisits two earlier EPs, resulting in a three-part/three-concept record. Swedish death/thrash at its core, the album does a little genre bending and extends its sonic range with keyboards and melodic backup vocals, but the integration of styles is sometimes unsteady, even awkward, and undermines the more esoteric tone set by titles like "Where the Black Lotus Grows.” That doesn’t mean Eden Fire is without its promising or compelling moments — there are plenty, just not consistent. But Sonic Syndicate are a young band, and have time enough to smooth over the rough edges and stand apart from their influences. (Modular/Fontana North)