Sovereign – Harbinger (2017)

Three years after his first self-titled album, SOVEREIGN comes back with his spatial Djent  often classified as Mass Effect or Metroid original soundtrack, if not rightly compared to SYBREED. Instrumental solo project, Swiss Jorge Paule Pinheiro was able to set himself apart from this mass of modern-said metal where numerous one-man-bands pop up without being convincing. SOVEREIGN takes here the time, with Harbinger as sophomore, to make an overcoming album again.

Cyber Metal is usually suitable to Djent class for its modern and smooth aspect. The challenge comes from its mastering to remove this sterile dimension in which several bands are staying into it. Regarding Harbinger, we find here this skill already present on the first record but with knowledge in addition. Well, unlike about what announce the opening track Into the Unknow, this is clearly the sound we are accustomed SOVEREIGN offers again. The following Embrace Change is, however, faithful to itself bringing a more melodic song with a synth accompanied by cyber typical effects. The metamorphosis especially occurs with the embedding of Dark Electro for the ending! Confusing at first but the changeover is smooth and skilled.

One of the others cyber metal’s tenets is mainly the mastering of the keyboard. SOVEREIGN goes further by going beyond it. Synthetic Soul is structured around an artificial melody which is later shifted as per the diverse riffs of the song. The Explorer‘s kitsch intro get us into the golden era of retro sci-fi used later as main guitar melody. The more technical synth of The Fall, for its part, steal the lead guitar role by being converted into a guitar riff and vice versa which is incredibly impressive leading to a clean and efficient result.

Best songs speaking, S.O.M.A. sets frenzied and nervous rhythmic against slow and calm tune. Under the influences of the Aldous Huxley’s drug, our heart is swiftly beating over Black Metal pace while our mind has slow down. Then comes the descent with a more electronically Breakcore-axed beat. The flagship title is Sugoi! and its nervous Cyber Metal where anything follows without break but glitchy bridges or nonexistent ones; as being said these changes of pace remains fluent and unhindered.

SOVEREIGN consolidates himself in his songwriting with Harbinger but also allows himself some successful but too short electronic experiments. Maybe it’s by fear of being too far away from the initial sound, even though the record would have gained strength by exploring more of Embrace Change‘s and Synthetic Soul‘s key features as cited before.

PS: Is the song Disorder inspired by the videogame Dungeon of the Endless?

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