Friday, August 18, 2017
Sannhet : " So Numb"
The band from Brooklyn's 3rd album opens with thundering drums pounding into a ethereal drone. Driven yet dynamic as the melodic swathes of guitar color this in a much different manner than how thye have painted their songs before. This is the second instrumental album I have reviewed this week. The first was Mogwai's new one and this album might share some of the post rock moments, it feels like a much different creature than what Mogwai does. It would be more fitting to call this driving and aggressive music than heavy, and certainly not metal. They delve further into a more Cure like atmosphere on the second song. The drummer and the bass player are the conspirators when it comes to who is giving this album it's grit as the guitar floats over it like shimmering clouds made of glass. One thing I like about this album and their others is it stays true to who they are as a band, without retreading the same ground. Nothing about this album really feels all that black metal any more, but if it had it would have revisited similar ground. A fact I can be split on at times but here it seems to be working.
The first hint of their black metal past is in the drums to the title track that flirt with a blast beat and try to not actually commit to it. I don't think this fact and in of itself is what keeps it from being black metal, I think it has more to do with the feeling emitted from their music. Around the two minute mark the guitar does so really beautiful pondering. The drummer Christopher Todd continues to impress with his playing. "Fernbeds" has Thom Wasluck coming in to add a guitar solo. Opening with delay heavy bass, it falls somewhere between Pink Floyd and Joy Division. When it comes to solo's we are not talking about actual metallic shredding , but melodic sonic interplay. It is actually one of the album's best songs. "Salts" is dark and brooding, there is a an ominous tension and I like the electronic feel to the percussion, It feels more like 80's Cure.
"Way Out" continues with the post-punk vs post-rock feel. There are more more aggressive almost black metal accents in a few places that pound the point home in a similar fashion as a blast beat. The songs on this album are very concise and don't drone on yet the band manages to make much of this album carry a hypnotic sway. Vocals are my favorite part of most songs so to keep my attention with out them deserves applause. The guitars do a great job of carving out sonic slices and work well with the drums to touch on metal dynamics with out being mired into metal. 'Secondary Arrows" doesn't form it's own identity until I really hear a guitar melody emerge and guide the song on it's way. The tempo shifts and gets to some extent heavier on "Sleep Well" . The moods shifts a lot on this song but the most impressive part is when it locks in on the groove thanks to the bass player. "Wind Up" is pretty much just ambiance and feels more like an outro than a song so not counting it for the purpose of this review.
While this is not a metal album by any means , it is a collection of interesting songs that would still sit well against the band's other material in a live setting. Some of the best drumming and bass playing I have heard this year. I think they have come into their own and can claim a spot next to bands like Russian Circles in making sonically heavy music. While Russian Circles might possess the more overt metallic moments Sannhet now opts to use other colors in their expanded pallet. Not sure how much play I will get out of this due to the nature of this beast, but enjoyed what I heard and think fans will enjoy the ride so I'll round it up to a 9.The album comes out August 25th.