There are moments in life when you have to set friendships aside: no matter how dear you hold camaraderie, a bond, you have to step back, look objectively at the situation in which you mutually find yourselves, assess the situation, calmly and in a collected manner and tell things how you see it… or, in this case, hear it…
Which is why I can honestly say that I think this latest opus from Norn Iron’s Sinocence is just one step short of genius! And that is genuinely a word I do not use easily.
Having chosen to pursue the same route as Phil Anselmo and Down, and release a triptych of EPs rather than a full new album, ‘No Gods…’ sums up what has been a difficult period in the Belfast-based quartet’s year – but ultimately one which also encapsulates the entire metal scene in this wee part of the world… pressurized, traumatized, but energized and always ready to come back and kick you in the balls.
Opener ‘A Coda On Self Slaughter’ is a classic Bay Area-inspired thrasher which has been more or less Sincocence’s trademark sound until now, but with a subtle progressive guitar line which is a herald for what is to come, and a brutally distorted production job from engineer Frankie ‘Einstein’ McClay which adds a resonance and vitriol many greater bands would wish they could apply. ‘Long Way Down’ is another thrash monster, crashing in with a fuck-ass double guitar and bass kickdown that quickly evolves into a beautifully contrasting jazz-style introductory vocal: a rare moment of gentility is underpinned with the Sins’ characteristic restrained violence which threatens to explode in such as genteel manner that you dare not turn your back for fear of having your head ripped off…
Proving that Sinocence have never been a band to believe in doing things the easy way, ‘Occam’s Razor’ is a huge, complex epic of a track, switching between classic and thrash metal styles but moving progressively forward (and even managing to sound a bit like 30 Seconds To Mars in the latter third). Perhaps the most straightforward track – maybe because it’s the one the band have been maturing through their live sets over the past year or so – is the awesome ‘West Of Eden’, a driving anthem which builds from a slow-burning riff and verse combination into one of vocalist Moro’s most spiteful performances. ‘Cruelty In Silence’ ends the EP in a highly appropriately anarchic yet morose style, with another stunningly understated guitar interchange between Anto and Moro coupling, as throughout, into another interjection from bassist Jim Seymour, before drummer Davy Cassa once again brings the tune home with sublime deadliness.
- A Coda On Self Slaughter
- Long Way Down
- Occam’s Razor
- West Of Eden
- Cruelty In Silence
‘No Gods, No Masters Volume 1’ is out now and available from the band’s Facebook page:
Sinocence play ‘Wired And Inpired’ at Limelight 2, Belfast, on Sunday November 11th, and support Absolva at Voodoo, Belfast, on November 30th.