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Sertraline – These Mills Are Oceans

Sertraline
These Mills Are Oceans
by Cherie Wong at 14 January 2020, 1:49 AM

On November 12, 2019, SERTRALINE released their third EP “These Mills Are Oceans.” Impressive, as this EP comes merely a few months after their second EP “From Both Our Hands,” which was released July 5, 2019. Formed in 2015, SERTRALINE hails from Buffalo, New York. SERTRALINE plays post-black metal similar to the likes of ALCEST and WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM.

“Sertraline” is the generic name of Zoloft, which is used to treat depression and panic attacks. The band name is certainly apt, as their music serves as a cathartic release for the listener. The trio of guitars creates engaging and lush soundscapes that range from soft melodies to dense black metal riffs. The guitar riffs and melodies blend together so well that the listener can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. This EP utilizes relatively mellower guttural growls than the higher pitched screams that can be heard on other post-black and atmospheric black metal albums. There are no clean vocals unless you count the whispers scattered throughout the EP for effect. The plucking of the bass adds a bit of interest at the quieter sections when it is audible. The drum patterns complement the other instrumentals as necessary to drive the mood of different sections, whether as blast beats or more restrained rhythms.

Eyes as Tableau” is the opening track. Most memorably, this track does cut off somewhat abruptly at the end; it’s not your imagination. If the cut off is purposeful, it does a good job of snapping you out of a trance, similar to the snap of a hypnotist. Next is “Their Cities,” the second track. This track goes through a plethora of emotion, through the rolling crescendos and dulcet valleys. The EP closer is “Prague,” which is the track I recommend. The first half is melodic and gentle. Over the 7 minute duration, the song builds and takes you through an emotional journey. Towards the end, it culminates with blast beats and an intense riff.

Overall, I recommend this album to fans of shoegaze-y post-black metal. It is a short one at only 20 minutes long, but I guarantee that you will be in a trance the entire time. This album isn’t for a lively or rowdy time. However, if you want to meditate on a record or just need background music, “These Mills Are Oceans” is a solid choice.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Eyes as Tableau
2. Their Cities
3. Prague
Lineup:
Jay Zgoda – Guitars
David Lopian – Guitars
Shelly Muehlbauer – Guitars
Tom Muehlbauer – Vocals
Ken Culton – Drums
Jason Roman – Bass
Record Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
     


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Edited 26 October 2020
 

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