Sonic Syndicate's History (Biography)

Sonic Syndicate are a Melodic Death Metal band from Falkenberg, Sweden. They are influenced by Swedish melodic death metal bands such as In Flames, Soilwork and metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage.

Official site:


Genre(s): Modern Rock/Metalcore

Country: Sweden

Show Date: August 2, 2009

Festivals: Global East Rock Festival 2009

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The band currently consists of British singer Nathan J. Biggs, bass player Karin Axelsson, drummer John Bengtsson and cousin guitarists (who are often mistaken as brothers) Roger and Robin Sjunnesson. Christoffer Andersson is currently filling as the second vocalist in 2010/11 after the departure of Roger's brother Richard Sjunnesson.

Before Sonic Syndicate, the brothers Richard and Roger and their cousin Robin Sjunnesson played in a heavy-metal-orientated band called Tunes of Silence, which was formed in 2000. In 2002, the brothers of eventually decided to break away from the band in order to focus on various other aspects of music. This led to the forming of Fallen in 2002 together with Andreas Mårtensson, Magnus Svensson and Kristoffer Backlund. They recorded three demo albums, Fall From Heaven, Black Lotus, and Extinction before signing with Pivotal Rockordings in 2005. Bassist Karin Axelsson replaced Svensson in 2004 before the band changed its name to Sonic Syndicate and released its debut studio album, Eden Fire.

Sonic Syndicate's Current Members

  • Richard Sjunnesson (Harsh Vocals, 2002–present)
  • Nathan James Biggs (Clean/Harsh Vocals, 2009–present)
  • Roger Sjunnesson (Lead guitar, keyboards, 2002–present)
  • Robin Sjunnesson (Rhythm guitar, 2002–present)
  • John Bengtsson (Drums, percussion, 2006–present)
  • Karin Axelsson (Bass guitar, 2004–present)

Former members:

  • Roland Johansson (vocals, occasional guitar, 2006–2009)
  • Kristoffer Bäcklund (drums, percussion, vocals, 2002–2006)
  • Andreas Mårtensson (keyboards, 2002–2006)
  • Magnus Svensson (bass guitar, 2002–2004)

The band toured extensively throughout Sweden in support of Eden Fire, alongside such bands as Avatar. In early February 2006, during their tour with Avatar, both drummer Kristoffer Bäcklund and keyboardist Andreas Mårtensson were asked to leave the band due to lack of interest and musical differences. Kristoffer was replaced by John Bengtsson, whilst lead guitarist Roger Sjunnesson took over on keyboards. 2006 also saw the arrival of Roland Johansson as second vocalist. The band completed the tour, then began demoing new material in early March.

Sonic Syndicate's Discography

  • 2005 - Eden Fire
  • 2007 - Only Inhuman
  • 2008 - Love and Other Disasters
  • 2010 - We Rule the Night

In the summer of 2006, the band entered into a contest held by Nuclear Blast. They sent in their self-titled demo Sonic Syndicate, which included early preproduction versions of the songs "Psychic Sucicide," "Blue Eyed Fiend", "Callous" and the album version of "Jailbreak". Out of over 1,500 competing bands, Sonic Syndicate was chosen as one of three winners and offered a new recording contract with the label. In November 2006, they entered Black Lounge Studios to record their follow-up to Eden Fire with Jonas Kjellgren of Scar Symmetry. The new album was titled Only Inhuman and was released on May 18, 2007. A video was made for the lead single, "Denied," with renowned producer Patric Ullaeus.

Sonic Syndicate's Greeting for Global East Rock Festival 2009 Visitors

The singers of Sonic Syndicate, Richard Sjunnesson and Roland Johansson, also sang for a compilation album, called Nuclear Blast All-Stars: Out of the Dark with Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers. The band played at the 2007 Wacken Open Air Festival. Sonic Syndicate played several European festivals and, in the winter of 2007, accompanied Amon Amarth as they toured stateside. The band also participated in the "Darkness over X-Mas Tour" with Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn, and toured extensively across Europe with Dark Tranquillity and Soilwork. In late November 2007, the Swedish newcomers embarked on a tour with Himsa and Amon Amarth. Later in 2008, they toured with Finnish symphonic metal band, Nightwish.

In March 2008, the band began recording their third release in Jonas Kjellgren's Black Lounge Studios in Avesta. In May 2008, Sonic Syndicate returned to North America as the opening act for Nightwish. In the June 2008, the magazine Revolver named Karin Axelsson the "Hottest Chicks in Metal". Love and Other Disasters was released in September 2008. The first single, "Jack of Diamonds", is accompanied by a video again from Patric Ullaeus who has directed all of the band's videos. Not long after, the second single "My Escape" would follow up, also accompanied by a video from Patric Ullaeus. At the end of the year, the band toured Germany and Scandinavia, and released the singles "Power Shift" and "Contradiction" directed by Marius Böttcher of Quent Film.

On March 30, 2009, it was confirmed that singer Roland Johansson would quit the band because of personal reasons. A search for a replacement immediately went underway, whilst Roland stayed in the band until August 29, the day of his last show with the band at the Geuzenpop Festival in Enschede, The Netherlands (five days after Nathan J. Biggs was announced as the new singer).

On October 13, Roland Johansson told on an interview that the reason of leaving Sonic Syndicate was the anxiety he felt and the dislike of the lifestyle having to tour all around the world and not being able to spend much time with his loved ones. He also shared that he and Jesper Strömblad (formerly of In Flames) are currently working on an unnamed project and will start recording an album in the beginning of 2010, although as of January 2011 there has been no sign of any official release from the two.

On August 24, 2009, British vocalist Nathan James Biggs (formerly of The Hollow Earth Theory) was announced as Roland Johansson's replacement. Sonic Syndicate released an EP called Rebellion featuring two new songs with Nathan on November 6, 2009. The band has also announced that their next studio album would be released in March 2010. On September 25, Sonic Syndicate released their debut single with Nathan entitled "Burn This City" and also began filming a music video for the track on September 10. The music video for "Burn This City" was released on September 25 to coincide with the release of the single. Shortly after the single release, the band began to stream their other new track "Rebellion in Nightmareland," which was released onto the bands Myspace page. As of October 31, the band has begun to tour with Nathan.

Work on the pre-production of a new album begun on January 3, 2010 under producer Toby Wright, recorded at Bohus Sound Studios in Kungälv, Sweden. Reports on the recording process were published on the band's RockSpot blog. On March 5, the band announced that the title for the new album would be called We Rule the Night. The album was originally scheduled to be released on May 28, 2010 but was later reset to July 30, 2010. The release date was again pushed back and the album was released on August 28, 2010.

The first single from the album is "Revolution, Baby." It appeared first on May 5 on Bandit Rock Radio and was then released to iTunes on May 7. On April 16, the video shoot for the music video took place. The director for the shoot was again director Patric Ullaeus. The video was released on May 17.

On June 3, Sonic Syndicate traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden and began shooting the music video for the second single "My Own Life" with Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company. The single debuted on Bandit Radio on June 18, 2010 and was released as a digital single. On June 12, 2010, the band appeared on the Ronnie James Dio stage at UK's Download Festival 2010. On July 1, 2010, Nuclear Blast and Guthenborg TV released the making of the music video for "My Own Life."

The single "Turn It Up" was released on August 22, 2010, followed by the album We Rule the Night on August 27, 2010. During the filming of "Turn It Up," Karin Axelsson was reportedly "seriously injured." Axelsson was hit over the head with a guitar during an act of staged violence, causing a laceration and a brain concussion. Axelsson later made a "brilliant" recovery. On September 29, the video was released.

On October 26. 2010, it was announced that Richard would take a break from touring for personal reasons and to spend time with his family. His replacement will be Christoffer Andersson. On October 28, Richard stated on his blog that he was leaving permanently because of Nuclear Blast changing the musical direction of the band. Andersson will however not be the permanent replacement for Richard. It was first planned to have Nathan do all the vocals, but they eventually decided to recruit Andersson Richard went onto form The Unguided with other former Sonic Syndicate members and join Faithful Darkness. There has still been no official announcement about Richard's departure from Sonic Syndicate themselves (although Nathan talked about it in an interview), so it is unknown whether the band will carry on with Nathan as the only official vocalist or recruit a second singer.

Originally a Melodic-Death Metal band, Sonic Syndicate's style has changed radically over the years. Fallen Angels' demos contained no clean vocals at all and had a similar sound to early Gothenburg bands such as Dark Tranquillity and In Flames. Eden Fire featured clean vocals on some tracks as well as female vocals from bass player Karin Axelsson.

Their second album Only Inhuman had many new additions to the band's sound. Clean vocals were now a full-time feature (by this point the band had two vocalists rather than one) and the band began to include metalcore elements into their music. It also included the band's first recorded ballad (Enclave). Love and Other Disasters saw more keyboards and slower songs than before and was commercially more successful than Only Inhuman.

Their 2009 EP Burn This City featured two songs. The title track was radio friendly with mostly clean vocals and synthesizers while the song Rebellion In Nightmareland had a somewhat similar sound to Eden Fire and Only Inhuman being very aggressive in dynamic and having both clean vocals and screams lead together.

Their fourth album We Rule the Night is a very diverse album compared to all their prior releases as it includes both metalcore and melodic death metal their trademark sound, but also incorporates new ones to their style such as pop metal, nu metal, industrial metal, hard rock and alternative metal. There is also a fairly use of acoustic guitars as well as mainstream influenced synthesizers. Clean vocals are also featured as the lead vocals compared to their previous albums were both harsh and clean vocals were leading together, on We Rule the Night however the harsh vocals have been mixed behind layers of distorted guitars, acoustic guitars and mainstream synthesizers and the clean vocals was left untouched to appeal to a younger, more mainstream audience.

From the beginning to Love and Other Disasters all of Sonic Syndicate's songs were written by lead guitarist/keyboardist Roger (music) and harsh vocalist Richard Sjunnesson (lyrics) with the exception of Enclave where the music was written by other (rhythm) guitarist Robin Sjunnesson and clean singer Roland Johansson. Robin and Roland together wrote the music to about 5 songs on Love and Other Disasters, with the rest by Roger and all the lyrics as normal were written by Richard. Burn This City and We Rule The Night however, featured a second lyricist (new singer Nathan J. Biggs) as well as Robin now composing half the music for Sonic Syndicate. This is thought to be what made We Rule the Night different from their early material.

Source: ©

Official Sonic Syndicate's Video

Sonic Syndicate - Burn This City
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Duration: 04:05
Sonic Syndicate - Enclave
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Duration: 04:12
Sonic Syndicate - Powershift
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Duration: 03:31
Sonic Syndicate - My Escape
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Duration: 03:45
Sonic Syndicate - Jack Of Diamonds
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Duration: 03:50
Sonic Syndicate - My Own Life
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Duration: 03:13
Sonic Syndicate - Denied
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Duration: 03:55
Sonic Syndicate - Revolution Baby
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Sonic Syndicate - Contradiction
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Duration: 03:46

Other bands that participated at the Global East Rock Festival 2009: Arcana Imperia, Crematory, D.V.S., Diary of Dreams, Ensiferum, Epica, Graveworm, Kingdom Come, Kreator, Maknamara, Motorhead, My Dying Bride, My Favorite Scar, Tarja Turunen, W.H.I.T.E.

Created At: September 22, 2010 1:11 PM Updated At: May 10, 2011 1:02 AM