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Sanhedrin - A Funeral for the World Award winner

A Funeral for the World
by Chris Hawkins at 20 May 2018, 5:18 PM

Everyone has their go-to albums that, like comfort food, deliver instant feelings of expressed intent near and dear to the listener.  It is rare in the business of writing about one's favorite style of music that one comes across a (new) band that embodies all of the qualities that first ignited one's love of the genre.  SANHEDRIN, a band I was unaware of prior to receiving their debut full-length, has completely blown me away with a sound that is nothing but pure Heavy Metal.  Growing up and listening to BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, and RAINBOW instructed these three musicians in the ways of composing truly classic, memorable and engaging tunes.  While it may not be readily apparent the band is from Brooklyn, it certainly makes sense after listening to the album and its unique aggression, dark vibe, and dedication to a purity of sound and vision.  Guitarist Jeremy Sosville also plays in BLACK ANVIL, another awesome band I personally recommend checking out after having seen them open for IMMOLATION and MAYHEM last year.  It seems that whatever project Mr. Sosville is involved in, his mature approach coupled with innate talent combine to produce gold.  SANHEDRIN is truly a band that will be long remembered after these words are written and published.

The album opens with "Riding on the Dawn," a jaw-dropper with its classic Metal style as the eccentrically misty vocals of Erica Stoltz paint their own unique color.  The second track is the title track, a much heavier affair with a giant SABBATH main riff that echoes the heroes of old yet the band manage to control the creativity with which they craft their very own personal exercise of heaviness.  The jam section in the middle shows a different side of the band, its ability to drift off course a bit while still staying locked in together and delivering huge hooks and fills.  Let the Gods of the Riff be praised for the seventh track, "Massive Deceiver," features a main riff that sounds like "Mob Rules"-era Iommi penning the main riff to "Man on the Silver Mountain."  The solo absolutely blows the roof off the affair, and it must be known that it is not loosely that I invoke the mighty Tony Iommi and Ritchie Blackmoore when describing a guitarist.  The playing truly is that good on this record!  The last track, "Die Trying," begins with a mean double-picking riff, and so much ground is eventually covered that one is lost before knowing it with the dismal last riff pulling the listener forever down its perpetual chasm of emptiness.

SANHEDRIN are far more than just a sum of their parts, but each individual plays a very personal, effective role in crafting this classic affair.  The drums and bass are tightly locked in a style similar to the plodding, always-in-the-pocket style of Bonham/Jones.  The guitar playing is enhanced by perfect tone.  Restraint is shown when needed, and when palm-muting occurs or a pinch harmonic is hit, it is doubly effective because of the overall class shown by the player.  When he lets loose, it is sonic magic, giant chords and fluid leads that match to form an ethos of one dedicated to the purity of the craft.  None of the above could be possible without the powerful vocal performance of Erica Stoltz.  It is with her strong vocals that the songs are truly ignited and come into their own as they are colored by her occult vibe like menacing soul music.

Any lover of Metal will enjoy this album as it blends the right amount of old school dedication with a newfound fury and intention.  The album is simply a breath of fresh air in a climate over-populated by sound-alikes and sub-genres of sub-genres.  One has to marvel that in the now five decades of Metal, purist bands can still sound original as this.  It is a testament to their creativity, talent, and meddle.  There is a level of maturity, a polish over the album that only happens once in a blue moon as the songs are instant classics.  One has to wonder, though, whether it is our current environment that propels such a great album or whether it is in spite of it.  Releases like this are what truly make it a pleasure to write about the craft as I feel personally involved in the propagation of something so dear to my own existence.  It is a pleasure to introduce SANHEDRIN.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Riding on the Dawn
2. Funeral for the World
3. Demonness
4. Collateral Damage
5. Faith Healers
6. No Religion
7. Massive Deceiver
8. Die Trying
Jeremy Sosville – Guitar
Nathan Honor – Drums
Erica Stoltz – Bass/Vocals
Record Label: Cruz del Sur Music


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Edited 09 August 2020

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