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Friday, November 14, 2014

Album Review: Sedna - S/T

“No politics. No religions” screams their biography.

Italians Sedna are obviously keen for you to focus on their musical output alone and they needn’t worry. At times abrasive and antagonistic, at others soul-sapping and desolate, their self-titled debut album is going to grab your attention. In fact, its nothing short of cathartic. By pumping out exploratory, hardcore-tinged doom/sludge accented by a landslide of drums and throat-ripping screams, their music demands of its listeners.

Their pitch black tone draws influence from inventive monsters like Amen Ra, Wolves In The Throne Room and Year Of No Light, but there is also a keen, morbidly fascinating edge similar to that explored by post-‘core fiends like The Elijah and Amia Venera Landscape. Punishing initially then ebbing into a sequence of sanguine oscillations around 13 minutes, “Sons Of The Ocean” drinks deep upon these influences creating an angular construction of heart-wrenching ebb and flow, whilst “Sons Of Isolation” has an achingly slow build – although its slightly tiresome, it does put one in mind of Russian Circles’ last album, so adds some spice to the mix.

“Life / Ritual”, with bone chimes jangling and tortured chants circling in bouncing echoes around temple walls, disturbs on a whole new level. Somewhere within this band lies a deep rage and here you can feel it cracking through the crust as the vocalists combine to great effect. Then, with a final crackling flourish full of latent feedback, “Sons Of The Ancients” plucks at fresh wounds by cycling two chords until the roars of vocalist/guitarist Nil bring us raging round to an invasive sequence of powerful chugging.

There’s a fascinating range of styles at play here and it marks an enjoyable initial foray. Initially bruising, the impact of it becomes less of an issue with further listens. The so-called “sphere of deep hope” that they wanted to convey within their music is well hidden here, but I certainly felt their passion and it sparked a wide range of emotions ranging from anger to misery.

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