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Sorcia - Sorcia Award winner

Sorcia - Sorcia
by Dave Nowels at 06 May 2020, 3:41 PM

SORCIA are a trio out of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle Washington to be specific. They dropped their new self-titled release on March 13, 2020 . This new effort comes on the heels of their demo which was released in January 2019. Both releases are accessible via the band's Bandcamp page and definitely worth checking out. SORCIA are by nature, a typical Stoner/Doom/Sludge band, cranking out torque heavy riffs and thunderous low end, accented with vocals somewhere on the vast precipice of clean and growl. What makes this trio unique, and in fact special, are the PNW Grunge influences the band infuses ever so subtlety. I found notable nods to genre defying elements such as GREEN RIVER, and most definitely ALICE IN CHAINS, Sub Pop and more. I betting I'll probably pick up on more influences with each listen, and that's a pretty cool bonus on top of an already cool first listen release.

Coffin Nails” comes in via distorted feedback, as if to set a cautious tone, before launching tenaciously with a low, slow and dirty swagger. De Atley's vocals perfectly mesh with the power and depth of the groove, and when sly bassist Brasch's haunting vocals join in, it makes for a perfect storm. Marcey's kit work provides a crushing force that guides everything through a smokey, aggressive atmosphere that seems capable of collapsing at any moment. Throughout the album's duration, each band member shares control of things, whether vocally or musically. Really, the role changes throughout each song creating quite a dynamic. Dive into “Repression” for an appropriate example. The riff, rhythm and vocal combination is just a massive force. At times, the band seems out of control, manically stomping on the gas, before slamming on the brakes, and manically sliding through a dead man's curve. But, they always make it, leaving nothing but a hint of smoke and bad intentions in the air. It's pretty damn contagious.

“In The Head”, the second track, opens similarly to it's predecessor, ala' feedback, but this time things heads off into surprisingly melodic vocals, only to see those rendered asunder about a 1:15 into the tune. Here things take a more primal approach, before returning to that previous melodic nature that began the track. Here, I was really reminded of that ALICE IN CHAINS dynamic of Cantrell's guitar ferocity countered by Staley's plaintive snarl. Interestingly, the way AIC was the Metal stepchild of Grunge, SORCIA seems to be the Doom stepchild to Grunge. If you're looking for a real intense intro into SORCIA, waste no time and check out, “Stars Collide”. The song slides in slowly. It's a bluesy, spacey meander, perfectly complimented with the addition of Brasch's haunting vocals. But this is just deception at work. Brasch lures you in, only to be pounced on as De Atley's vocals come roaring in from nowhere. When they hit you, and rip all existence asunder. Still things are deceptive, as Brasch's vocals return this time surprisingly reminiscent of HOLE/Courtney Love, and come to match De Atley's savagery. Epic song, 9 minutes in length and my pick for best track on the album.

If you're looking for the heaviness, que up “Stoned Believer”. This one's a monster and comes in like a wallop upside the head, wasting little opportunity achieving a driving tempo and hedonistic simplicity through force only then to slow things down and allowing things to simmer momentarily, before digging deep into the bluesy river bottom. By by now, we've figured out that SORCIA are gonna shake it up, and that right there is what makes this one righteous.Former TAD bandmates and grunge pioneers Jack Endino (HIGH ON FIRE, WINDHAND, NIRVANA) does the mastering, and Thomas 'Tad' Doyle handling production, manned the board here for SORCIA, and be sure, the mere fact that these two individuals are involved should speak volumes regarding SORCIA and their talent and potential. Recording sessions and post production were completed at Doyle's Witch Ape Studios, and it sounds just about perfect. It's polished, but still retains more than enough attitude and ambition to retain a rawness that blends well with the finishing touches.

SORCIA's self-titled 2020 release is a bold and confident introduction for those of us unfamiliar with the band. The PNW is a virtual hotbed of innovative bands that dominate originality, passion and experimentation. YOB, YEAR OF THE COBRA and now SORCIA. Don't miss this one. It deserves your attention.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Coffin Nails
2. Kin The Head
3. Nowhere But Up
4. Repression
5. Stars Collide
6. Stoned Believer
7. Sunburn
Neal De Atley: Guitar, Vocals
Jessica Brasch: Bass, Vocals
Bryson Marcey: Drums
Record Label: Independent


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