SUNK LOTO – Between Birth and Death
First of all, let me just say that since its release, this album would have to be one of my all-time favourites. What makes this album all the more special, is the difference compared to their debut album Big Picture Lies. For those of you who have never heard of Sunk Loto (pronounced: Sunk Low-tow), they are a young hard-rock/metal band from the Gold Coast, Australia. They are influenced by bands such as Deftones, Faith No More, Mudvayne, Killswitch Engaged, and Mr Bungle just to name a few.
Sunk Loto are:
Jason Brown – Vocals/guitar (22yrs)
Dane Brown – Drums (20yrs)
Luke McDonald – Guitars (22yrs)
Sean Van Gennip – Bass (24yrs)
Track 01 – 5 Years of Silence
An absolutely blistering opening track. The boys aren’t mucking around here, immediately firing away with their new brand of metal. This track starts off extremely hard and fast – and a great scream to go with it (in my opinion, Jase’s screams match *Chino’s and *Kud’s easily). The verses slow down a bit while still keeping the intensity high and powerful. The chorus is a great live ‘sing-a-long’ type lyric and riff, as you can hear the big influence Chino has on Jase. The song ends really energetically and powerfully, again, with another awesome heavy riff. Great song live.
*Chino Moreno – Deftones
*Kud - Mudvayne
Track 02 – Fall Apart
There aren’t any bad tracks on this album, but this is one of the better ones. Quite often this track will be their opening track when playing live, showcasing a ‘Deftones-like’ opening drumbeat that fans react to straight away. Have heard some people compare this song to Deftones, while others compare it to Glassjaw. This song is amazing, the way it progresses and taking the most unexpected paths. The verses and chorus are so catchy that it’s impossible not to sing along to and will get stuck in your head for days. The ‘mini-solo’ is awesome, and the way they extend on the chorus for the outro is genius. Luke’s soloing riffs during the outro is a highlight. Jase also plays guitar for this song live.
Track 03 – Empty and Alone
One of the more heavier songs and reminds me a lot of Mudvayne. The tightness between the guitar, drums and bass during the verses is impressive – and extremely heavy. Once again, the chorus is extremely catchy with Jase really demonstrating just how good his voice really is and also showing his strong influence of *Mike Patton. Compared to most songs on this album, this song is fairly simple and straightforward, however still very powerful and just a great song.
*Mike Patton – Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk
Track 04 – Help
My personal favourite off the album and one of the heavier ones. The intro and outro of this song is really cool, a piece of riffing that is truly unique and original. The riffs are so random in the beginning of the song – by that I mean, there are a lot of riffs before the first verse starts and each of those riffs are totally different to one another and only get played that one time. This is song is extremely heavy, yet also really beautiful and melodic. The outro is wild, full of screaming. The drumming throughout this track is very impressive.
Track 05 – Starved
Second single from the album. Like first single Everything Everyway, Starved is also a slower melodic song – which annoys me because in my opinion by releasing these slower, more friendlier songs, the band isn’t really showcasing the powerful talent they have, as heard in their heavier songs. However, this song is still awesome and at times reminds me of early Incubus. Another song where Jase also plays guitar live, the song really pulls at your heart strings and lyrically has a very deep meaning i.e. “The drugs aren’t gonna make you feel alright, and all the junkies have a tendency to choke and die”, sings Jase. Luke’s use of effects is incredible and the guitar/piano outro is truly touching.
Track 06 – Everything Everyway
First single off the album. Quite different to the rest of the album, this song still packs a powerful punch. The main riff is really catchy and will not keep a crowd standing still. A lot of people seem to compare this to their previous songs, but I disagree. Yes, it may be slower and softer than others but still has that great sound and energy throughout. The bridge/interlude part is awesome – another ‘mini-solo’ type riff with about 3 layers of vocal tracks. Takes your breath away. Jase still manages to put in a scream too!
Track 07 – Burning Bridges
This is definitely the standout song!! Even though my favourite is Help, this song is unbelievable. It has everything you want in a heavy song. It is filled with guitar heavy riffs – and I mean heavy. The main riff is probably the best riff I’ve ever heard in my life, and the singing to go with it is amazing. Bands like Mudvayne and Deftones would be extremely impressed by this brutal onslaught. What more can I say other than ‘awesome’. A song you must really hear!
Track 08 – Inside
Just when you though the album was already heavy enough, the second half of the album takes the meaning of ‘heavy’ to another level. This is the one song on the album that took me quite a few listens to comprehend. The structure is very complex and the heavy riffs assist to really confuse the listener. However once you understand what the song is doing and where it is going, you’ll realise how good this track is. It is probably the fastest song here whilst still remaining one of the heavier tracks. The way that Jase has put his lyrics to this song is exceptional, mixing screaming with yelling, singing, and angry rapping. One of my favourites.
Track 09 – Past Tense Existence
Probable my least favourite track, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great track. Quite a fast song with a great melody. Jase also plays guitar on this track when played live. The interlude is great with its unique time signature. This song reminds me a lot of Deftones. Luke’s soloing type riff towards the end is, again, wonderful to listen to.
Track 10 – Public Imagery
Another one of my favourites because of its brutal power. It starts off by absolutely punishing your ears and doesn’t stop until the very end. What I like about this song so much is the guitar riffs. Every riff is incredible with so much originality and power. Dane also adds a lot to this song with some very technical drumming. Lyrically, Jase is speaking politically about war and the way the media sensationalises news stories and brainwashes the public. Musically it has a strong Mudvayne feel to it.
Track 11 – Erased
The metal doesn’t stop at Public Imagery. Erased raises the bar another level. Again, one of the more heavier tracks. With so many heavy tracks already you’d think that you’ve already heard it all before – but you haven’t. Sunk Loto change it up so much, each song a totally different mood and journey. This song progresses perfectly, remaining extremely heavy all the way. Like Public Imagery, I love this song because of the guitar riffs where you can hear a strong Messhugah sound. The time signatures and song structure are again awesome. The highlight of this song is the verses – words simply cannot describe how good they are (second best riff on the album, only to the riff from Burning Bridges). Definitely one of my fav’s and is often played at the end of their sets.
Track 12 – Soul Worn Thin
Sunk Loto end their album with a really powerful track. Lyrically it is about a close friend of Jason’s who died from a drug overdose. You can really feel his emotion through his singing and makes my spine tingle every time he sings the chorus, “You were not willing to sacrifice all of the drugs to stay alive, I know it’s hard to stay alive”. A really melodic song but has a strong energy and intensity throughout. I have to add, the interlude is quite amazing, where the band go into a soft acoustic riff as Jase demonstrates yet another side to his vocal abilities.
Final rating: 5/5
GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW!!!