Doom music is known to be the music that was either fueled by drugs (Sleep) or pain with drugs as a form of coping (Neurosis). It was the music of the long haired, jean jacket and battle vest wearing stoners who had an outlet that allowed them to see the music, feel the music and its intricate message, or both. Slowly but surely, as every genre of music does, it started to encompass other genres, becoming a bastardized version of what was considered pure and old school doom (Black Sabbath in my opinion) to something completely different (first band that comes to mind is Torche with pop, followed by later Neurosis and their inclusion of country), taking what it could, creating something new and exciting, much like black metal nowadays. Doom is a genre with many sub genres, and each one is different, with a hit-or-miss, trial-and-error catalog.
If you stuck with me, good, because I am going to talk about a band that is doom as it was: with a rock-and-roll swagger, awesome songs that stick like honey and resin (I do not smoke pot, but this little description was needed), and a great vocalist. This band is SANHEDRIN and I was given the honor of reviewing their first self-released full length entitled “A Funeral For The World”. This album was produced by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Behold…The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia) and includes Erica Stoltz on Vocals and bass, Nathan Honor on drums, and Jeremy Sosville on guitar and backing vocals. Now, a little disclaimer: I know Jeremy personally, having worked with the guy, watching him in his local band, and watching him blow up with his work in the band Black Anvil as their guitarist (I review their newest album “As Was.” It is awesome, go get it). If this bothers you…well too bad. Back to the album review.
This is meat and potatoes rock and doom. Jeremy knows how to write hooks in all of his music, showing his love for classic rock while adding a metal spin on it, creating a unique sound wholly his own. It is distinguishable from others, combining the rock that catches your ears and the metal you love and adore. Erica is a great vocalist, showing her chops and able to add a flavor to the music as well. She is able to keep the bass lines flowing as well, providing the low end needed, and not overly flashy in her playing. While there is a now an influx of female vocalist fronted doom bands, she has a style that is also her own. It is grounded in arena rock and 80’s rock bands in delivery, easily able to sing along to, but having an eerie sense to them. And Nathan, the drummer, is good. Keeping the rhythm, filling when needed, and complimenting the music.
This album starts with the song “Riding On The Dawn,” rocking and swaggering all over the place, providing a great sing along in the chorus and great rock. The S/T track “A Funeral For The World” has that old school doom feel, truly born from listening to a crap ton of Black Sabbath and learning from them. “Demoness” has a great barn-burning feel to it, a classic rock riff starts it with a fast lick before slowing down and allowing the band to show their vocal prowess as well as return to the rock brethren that they are influenced by. “Collateral Damage” is the longest track, showing a softer, non-distorted side of the band before kicking in the distortion and the gallops. “Faith Healers” begins like Blue Oyster Cult, and continues to be radio ready destruction of awesomeness. “No Religion” heaps all the influences heard so far into a 7-minute long song of awesomeness, and possible the most evil sounded chorus on the whole album. Seriously, Erica sounds mean. “Massive Deceiver” is the most straightforward rock song on the whole album, blazing like old-school KISS meets Motley Crue came together to write something together. The album ends with “Die Trying,” which is again, a great song providing a clean verse and a ripping chorus and ending with a slow groove of awesomeness.
This album is great and wears its heart on its sleeves. The album makes no-bones about its influences and kindly says “yes we love them…what of it?” I can not recommend this album enough. It is catchy, with hooks to spare, riffs that destroy, and just a cocky swagger. It is a proper throwback while also having a fresh scent and feel to it, bridging a gap between doom, arena rock, the 80’s rock, and the metal of today. Highly recommended, and, to quote Ross Hodo, fellow contributor, if you don’t think so, you’rewrong, and I may fight on disagreements (except with Eugene Robinson…that guy is awesome and scary).
Release Date: September 8, 2017
Label: Self-Released (check out their bandcamp thesanedrin.bandcamp.com)
Sounds like: Classic Rock mixed with doom elements, catchy, I have no bands to think of
Favorite songs: “A Funeral For The World,” “Die Trying”