Review Summary: The kind of music that instigates bruxism.
Everyone has bad days; the days where you experience the familiar feeling of allowing anger to dictate every action and contort it so that they are beyond your own control. There is no thought of the aftermath, no thought of the influence this mood will have on others and absolutely no presumption to rationalise the situation. All that matters is demonstrating this unstoppable fury. Generally, these emotional maelstroms are conjured through sequential stages and despite how instantaneously volatile some people may appear, there are concrete stages leading to this outburst.
First: the initial reaction. After some sort of trigger, this is where that person has just comprehended the dire situation. Next, come avoidance tactics, where that person will then avoid the blame put it on others, or blatantly deny the circumstances. At the midway point, the subject becomes aware that they are wrong and the anger begins to escalate and physical manifestations such as intimidating body language and hurtful speech are evident. As a result, the next stage is the state of crisis: the anger peaks, where manifesting and exercising any sense of logic becomes illogical. Finally, after the anger has been spent, a person will enter the recovery stage whereby they return to a normal state of mind followed by feelings of guilt, depression and regret.
Rooted firmly in the crisis stage of anger escalation, Michigan’s Sunlight’s Bane offers a blackened soundtrack to a livid, unstoppable rampage. Forget whatever motives have resulted in such an abrasive uproar, this band is focused on presenting the most unadulterated incessant wrath.
Listening to their latest album, “The Blackest Volume: Like All The Earth Was Buried”
is similar to the sonic representation of the sensation you’d experience using a bed of nails as a slip n’ slide. From start to finish, every track echoes pure, relentless aggression. Kicking off with “Praise the Venom Shield”, the album’s tone is instantly set; maddening growls, scathing riffs and traumatic drums rain down on your senses with no intentions of mercy. This state of wrath resurfaces most prominently during tracks such as “The Blessed Ivory Tongue”, “From Heaven Wept” and “No Taste More Bitter”, which sounds like the distorted cries from the bastard child of Nails and Dillinger Escape Plan banging its head against an amp. Make no mistake, the endless flood of blast beats and scratching tremolo makes “TBV: LATEWB”
a challenging listen. It’s also in need to trimming. “With Fear, This Love is Given” would be the perfect song to end the album due to its dramatic, traumatic, chaotic climax, however, there is still another thirteen minutes remaining of sonic belligerence that the audience has become adapt to.
Nevertheless, Sunlight’s Bane manages to keep this single-minded approach interesting by differentiating the tempos of different songs. Utter dominance is the key here, and it is cast through slower, empowering riffs during “I Am the Cold Harsh Whispers in Hell” and cold, bitter melodies in “Begrudging Soul”. Also, someone seriously needs to fetch Nick Holland a cup of Camomile tea. Making the sounds of kicking a door in with toothpicks between the toenails, he builds his most blistering vocal presence in “Came No Dawn”, singlehandedly constructing a terrifying atmosphere.
Sunlight’s Bane shows no signs of counting to 10, breathing deeply, or taking chill pills. For nearly an hour straight, they live up to their self-stylised ‘audio terror’ and “TBV: LATEWB”
shows signs of great potential which will steadily elevate the band to stand proudly aside celebrated eardrum-destroying bands such as Anaal Nathrakh, Nails and Full of Hell.