This One Won't Be Painless

Dec. 3, 2015


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Just months after our review for their debut EP, Perth musicians Sanzu are back with their first full length release. Heavy Over The Home represents the group stepping up their game in a number of areas while keeping what was so infectious about Painless. So, once again, take a moment with me to "be one with the groove."

I'll start with the vocals, as I feel my Meshuggah/Static-X mash-up is still a pretty accurate summary of both tone and cadence. I might throw in a little Tyrant of Death (from the Ascendancy album) as well. These high-register howls and deep, foreboding growls are very deliberately paced and share a similar percussive quality. Tracks like "Old Orchard Floor" even seem to induce a bit of a trance. But another similarity that isn't always as apparent is later career Morbid Angel.

I had forgotten that I compared the previous EP's "For All" to "Where the Slime Lives," but whatever elements created this parallel feels cranked up a notch. It's not just the vocals either. Those deep, low-end guitar lines of gurgling tremolo, chugging palm mutes, and sudden squelching slides just scream Domination. Some might inaccurately group the sound into the djent category, but really it's just the tone and down-tuning that are similar. The overall execution and oppressive atmosphere is much more in line with acts like Vader.

Albeit, this is a more groove-focused Vader...or is it a more blackened Meshuggah? F#%k, man, I just don't know. But I digress. Just recognize that Sanzu has just as much to offer the old school as the new. And just get a load of that drumming. Once again, I find a headache taking hold as I attempt to count beats on "Ubiety." Someone more proficient in the dark art of technical rhythms would have plenty more to say on the matter, but I know enough to see that this is not for the squeamish.

If I do have one critique of Heavy Over The Home, it's a pretty mild one. The songs do feel a bit too uniform in strategy at times. They don't sound the same to the point that it's hard to tell one from another, but a little more exploration and variety could go a long way in pushing these guys from an already excellent act to the one everyone wants on their touring bill. Other than that, I was glad for the opportunity to hear the album and will continue to check in with what these Aussies have to share. It's out today, so be sure to listen below and support yet another talented young band poised to make some waves now and in the future.