From time to time, when i think that nowadays nothing can surprise me anymore in terms of heavy music, one of these precious gems surface and as my ears are flooded with such great music i silently whisper a sincere: “Holy shit…“.
This happened a few days back when i discovered Sonance, a atmospheric/experimental sludge/doom collective hailing from Bristol while checking my blog roll. “Like Ghosts” is the first recorded material from the Bristolian 5 piece formed by Ben (guitar, screwdriver), Will (guitar, dictaphone, vocals), Tom (vocals), Chino (bass) and Jamie (drums).
“Like Ghosts” comes in two halves, totaling just under 42 minutes. Each part is an atmospheric heaping of interwoven arrangements, detailed and droned stretches that subside into sludge filled chasms as the bass pushes you through the floor and lifts dust from the walls. The record was written and rehearsed in a confined practice room in which the waves of sound could literally be felt shuddering up through your lungs and out of your mouth.
“Side A” begins with this hiss coming out of violins giving the motto for this thick cacophony wall of sludge that sounds pretty much like Hell. Massive riffs are hammered repeatedly through our brain as the voices behind it scream and yell. Suddenly the whole music tempo changes and morphs into what it seems a more post-rock/instrumental register, very low, it moves at a very slow pace until it morphs again into a more aggressive beast. There’s layers and layers of rich and diverse elements that intertwine harmoniously between each other and work perfectly together, and that voice that speaks “like ghosts..” around at minute 7:45… leaves me speechless. I can see there’s a clear Neurosis influence in Sonance’s sound but i can also throw in names like Kayo Dot or even Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Side B” goes to a more drone/atmospheric territories before it unveils these massive layers of sludge metal. This was the factor that hooked me up instantly, the whole atmosphere that lies within Sonance’s music. making this release (and band) the best music i’ve heard this year. Mindblowing.
Sonance’s ability and creativity to shape and shift their music into different directions without becoming dull or boring, even in the most still parts, is impressive. It really shows the level of maturity that this band holds. Creating this way, from beginning to end, an atmosphere that binds us as we dissect every note with great pleasure. This way it won’t take long until Sonance will become a name present in every lover of this genre’s mouth.
After this amazing sample i look forward to hear more from this amazing band. If you dig sludge, doom or drone or any of the subgenres, and if you don’t listen to this, you don’t know what you’re missing. Really. What a brilliant release. Sonance, i bow before you.
Meanwhile head over to their Bandcamp and listen/download (name your price) this excellent release. Like always, donations are appreciated. Also, these good boys are currently looking for a label willing to release “Like Ghosts” in a physical format, so if by any chance you run, or know, any label willing enough to grab this one-of-a-kind opportunity, get in touch with them. Just follow the links below:
The band have made a promising impact via their live shows and have already a tour of the UK and Europe booked for March 2013:
Mar 19 – Bristol, UK
Mar 20 – Colchester, UK
Mar 21 – Ghent, Belgium
Mar 22 – Leiden, Netherlands
Mar 23 – Bruges, Belgium
Mar 24 – Antwerp, Belgium
Don’t miss this band live.