Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Claw Your Way Out...

Sarin - Burial Dream (2015)

Burial Dream is the first full-length release from Canadian group Sarin, though they have two similarly atmospheric EPs in their back catalog.  Here, the group begins with a bang, bringing a crashing rhythm to life with the opening track, "As Well as the Body", in which near-howled vocals complement the shifts between loud metal din and softer melody.  It's more violent than you might expect of a dream's beginning, but sets the stage well for the rest of the LP's style.
The greatest strength of the album, at least as I heard it, was their attention to detail when developing the atmosphere with feedback, ambient development, reverb, delay banks, and such.  I would have really enjoyed more of the journeys into pure generative sound (as with "An Empty Place" and "Windows of the Skull"), with the band showing their skill at building and building on layer after layer; what is there feels like it gives way too quickly to the much more common and recognizable style of song-writing.  The contrast does provide some strength for their dream-like setting, though the divisions and transitions from one section to the next feel too clear-cut to really capture a sense of nightmare; part of the problem is that each track feels like its own separate dream, instead of the unified whole implied by the album's title.  Taken as, say, 'a month of nightmares,' the album's setting feels more coherent.
There's plenty of care for the music to be found here, to be sure, and when the music hits its groove, it really evokes some sinister vibes.  The problem is the sense of disconnection between the pieces, and how jarring the abrupt switches from one form to another are.  Some additional vocals provided by Angela Deveros on a pair of tracks point towards the strength some more vocal variety could have lent the album, as the unnverving inclinations work better when there's more than one antagonist voicing their opposition to the listener.  The digital release comes with three alternate versions of tracks (all of them being the more sonic-driven pieces), making for an interesting look at different ways the music could have gone, and providing some further balance against the reverberant yelling.  The band has shown its capabilities, now let's just hope that they keep sharpening their claws.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Jesu, Black Freighter, The Cure, White Darkness, Woods of Ypres


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