Andy Hartmark

Sicmonic @ 910 Live

Sometimes, metal bands sound like teenagers screaming over a wall of doomy, spiraling guitar chords. Sometimes, metal bands sound like a demon orgy in a thunderstorm. And occasionally, a good metal band sounds like both. One of the things that make Phoenix band Sicmonic notable is musical diversity. The quintet's influenced by everything from jazz fusion to death metal, and packs its songs with complex timing changes, layered instrumentation, and catchy grooves. Unlike many metal bands, Sicmonic's songs are each distinct. Some tunes, like the title track from their 2010 album on Aural Records, Somnambulist, fall into the nu-metal genre, employing epic, sweeping guitars alternating with machine-gun rhythms and power chords, topped by singer Taylor Hession's switching from singing to growling to screeching. Other songs, like "Seven Inches Deep," showcase Sicmonic's propensity for power ballads, but even that segues into a mosh-worthy melee of thunderous bass, screeching, and crashing cymbals. Where the band really shines is on tunes like "Fist to Throat," which boasts gritty guitar riffs, funky bridges with P.O.D.-esque rap vocals, and a pretty acoustic breakdown that showcases Hession's smooth singing voice, which is reminiscent of Tool singer Maynard James Keenan's. But while Hession occasionally sounds like Keenan, as an aural gestalt, Sicmonic's music is closer to bands like Slipknot. They have a reputation for being furiously loud and tight live, so expect some headbanging at this show.


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