In metal, one man's idea of a sellout is another man's idea of growth, maturity, and expansion. That was seen back in 1990, when Slayer's excellent Seasons in the Abyss was described as everything from their most mature and distinguished work to a pathetic attempt at commercial mainstream acceptance. Slayer, even at their most melodic, were never in danger of being mistaken for Poison or Bon Jovi, but there are always musical ideologues in the metal underground who think that a sellout is lurking behind every corner. And such ideologues will no doubt question the purity of Sons of the System, which is relatively melodic by Mnemic's standards. This early-2010 release often has a strong sense of groove and isn't without its share of melodic hooks, but make no mistake: Sons of the System is still a scorching slab of futuristic alternative metal. Those melodic hooks might soften the blows somewhat, but even so, a great deal of kicking, battering, and pummeling occurs on Sons of the System. And the influences that worked well for Mnemic in the past -- including Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Sepultura, and Slayer -- work well for them on this 52-minute CD, although Mnemic are talented alt-metallers in their own right. But again, what is growth to one person is a compromise to someone else. So inevitably, there really will be some purer-than-thou ideologues claiming that even though Sons of the System leaves plenty of bruises, it doesn't leave enough of them (which is sort of like saying that Margaret Thatcher isn't right-wing enough or that Hugo Chavez is too much of a conservative). But let the ideologues of the metal underground say what they want -- Sons of the System is another exciting alt-metal disc from these Danish agitators.
Sons of the System Review
by Alex Henderson