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Sudden Deaf - Havoc

Sudden Deaf
by Kevin Lewis at 24 November 2022, 4:22 AM

SUDDEN DEAF is an Austin, Texas-based band formed shortly before the pandemic. It’s a four-piece with a love of heavy and sludgy music. The four of them have known each other for a long time, since early childhood for a couple of them. This bond has definitely translated into a band that is tight-knit, on the same page. Their debut EP, Havoc, was self-released on October 7, 2022. The album is all over the place as far as song length goes. There is a one-minute instrumental and one each of songs at six, seven, and eight minutes. With the wild variety, you can just imagine how different some of the tracks are going to feel/sound.

First up is “Goin’ Down,” a fairly heavy riffed song with a decent chugging rhythm. The intro gives way to a nice riff/rhythm combo with a sludgy undertone. The lead work over the riff is well-paced, not too fast, not too slow. The vocals are clean and the effect is of a modern version of a 70s doom track. It has a definite groove to it and the lead guitar work is quite good. You even get a couple of drum fills, one out in front of all the instruments.

Mind Control” is the eight-minute track and it starts slow and heavy. After the intro, the guitars go a bit more ethereal, but the bass remains dark and low. Once the main body of the song kicks in, the riff gets sludgy and the lead guitar goes off on a tangent that includes some faster shredding work. The song is straight-forward, not venturing too far off into Progressive Metal. The bass does a cool up-tempo beat under the guitar solo that outpaces the riff, giving a three-tiered sound to the guitars.

For a true “low and slow” track, we head for “Raging Storm.” The start of this is dark and murky, trudging through the sonic sphere with a deliberate, menacing tone. The airy lead work on the guitar is a distinct contrast to the riff. The verses are almost pure sludge, but the pre-chorus/chorus gets a bit faster. The shift back to sludge is well executed. This is followed by “Head Hunter,” a faster, more Heavy Metal song that keeps the doom present, but not as prevalent. It’s interesting hearing SUDDEN DEAF go this route.

The instrumental, “Dusk,” is almost delicate, though it still has a bit of an ominous tone. The low-end bass keeps it from getting too light in tone. “City By the Sea” follows. And this one is slow and heavy. This feels like the main sound of the band, though they are not locked in to any one style. SUDDEN DEAF is one of those bands that can cross through many of the Sludge/Doom/Heavy Metal genres without losing their identity. Having been born in Texas and gone through Austin a number of times, they are proudly keeping the motto of “Keep Austin Weird” intact. This is a fun band that would sound pretty cool live. They’ve put out a good record and hopefully have a bright, Doom-Laden future ahead of them.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Goin’ Down
2. Mind Control
3. Raging Storm
4. Head Hunter
5. Dusk
6. City In The Sea
Drew Potter – Bass/Vocals
Max Cortez – Drums
Dylan Bigelow – Guitar
Alex Turner – Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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