British post-hardcore/sludge titans Sonance have emerged with their latest release, bringing together their split with Torper and their ‘Blister the Maw’ tape, along with an extra track to entice those who may own both previous releases. This is monstrous, and breathes fetid life into the British scene, where sludge doesn’t normally rise to the top.
Opener ‘End Your Life’ opens with an almost Boris-esque hum before a crashing EHG influence swamps the melody. Primal howls skate alongside the squalling feedback and apocalyptic riffage. ‘Under and Under’ gleams with glacial menace, before crushing nihilistic rage collapses the earth and pulls you down. There’s a calming post metal influence on the almost Isis-like ‘Capes’, which is a stark reminder of just how beautiful this kind of metal can be.
Catharsis is often a driving factor in sludge, and there’s something strangely cathartic about the calm, glacial melodies that lurk amongst the walls of powerful riffs. The vast soundscapes of the second half are unsettling, particularly the thirteen minute ‘That’s What Its Like’. The gentle acoustics of ‘Cherry’, the jarring noise rock of ‘Oldest Harm’; Sonance combine a number of different elements into a well formed whole. Sonance are a guiding light for those who miss Iron Monkey and Isis, and for all of us their music is a gift we should appreciate.