Live Reviews: Socionic at the Viper Room in West Hollywood, CA

Material: Socionic offers up a progressive sound infusing elements of rock, metal and industrial, not only throughout the performance, but often within the same song. Guitarist Graczyk, brings the shredder mentality to the group that satisfies any true metal fan, while complex meter changes and departures from the expected grooves, hallmarks of a more progressive style, provide a deeper texture to the band’s sound.

Musicianship: As a unit, Socionic is a very tight, well-rehearsed band, working well together and comfortable with each other on stage. Whether improvised or part of the composition, guitar and bass unison licks are on point and well placed, and the double bass pedal is used effectively as well.

Meinhart’s vocals are strong, with the ability to call upon the requisite rocker screams when needed, and bring it down to a rich baritone at other times.

Performance: Playing two slots in front of Volto (Tool drummer Danny Carey’s side project), Socionic was well placed to supplement their loyal fan base with those coming early to catch Volto. The result was a packed, high-energy room—the perfect atmosphere for their brand of heavy rock. Unfortunately, some mic issues hindered the beginning of the performance, which led to a missing vocal verse in the opening song, but the problem was rectified quickly. The group’s unique sound and skill became apparent in “Sanctity,” the second song in the set, which boasted a 15/8 time signature along with cool rhythms and complex meter. Perhaps due to the early mic issues, Meinhart’s vocals seemed to lose power as the show went on. However, the creative use of mic pedals, and the utilization of echo effects worked in his favor to boost the vocals to where they needed to be.

Summary: Drawing on the influences of Tool and Nine Inch Nails, Socionic pushes the boundaries with their brand of metal, creating an expressive, textured performance by layering atmospheric sound behind hard rock grooves.

Positioning themselves as multi-media artists and performers, it would be interesting to see how powerful those additional elements would make their performance, but venue limitations and the succinct set time likely dictated what they could present.

The Players: Michael Meinhart, vocals; Matthew Denis, bass; Lior Dar, drums; Billy Graczyk, guitar.

Photo courtesy of Grant Stoner

Venue:Viper Room
City: West Hollywood, CA
Contact: [email protected]

"System's Son"

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