Sarin – You Can’t Go Back (Prosthetic Records, 05 February 2021)
Sort of like a response to this article from earlier in the week where we covered an album entitled A Way Back, today we’re featuring You Can’t Go Back — the latest from Canadian post-metal group Sarin, named for the chemical compound that has historically been used (and sometimes rumored to have been used) as a nerve gas weapon due to its extreme toxicity.
The record immediately kicks off at full throttle: first track “Cold Open” is aptly titled in the sense that there is no time wasted on an introduction or preamble; the listener is just dropped directly into the deep end, instantly smothered with the pressure of waves upon waves of bass-heavy guitar chords crashing down amidst roared vocals.
The track seems slightly confounding at first: something about the rhythm feels like the band is employing some exotic time signature, like they’re playing in 5 or 15 or something. But a closer listen reveals that the music is less complex than it seems, as each phrase is contained within a fairly standard grouping of 16 beats. But the emphasis keeps shifting back and forth, subdividing those beats into either 6+6+2+2 or 3+3+3+3+2+2, and then occasionally slipping in a few bars of “common time” 4+4+4+4 just to really mess with you. Fun times.
From there, Sarin might decide to throw together a sludge-metal rendition of the “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” rhythm section with major-key triumphant-sounding guitar leads. Over the course of these six songs they may do something murky, wistful, spacey, bluesy; and every once in a while engage in a psychedelic freak-out — don’t even be surprised if you find any or all of these moods within the same song, all wrapped up with a grimy post-hardcore bow on top.
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Check out You Can’t Go Back right now: stream/download/CD/vinyl
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