Metal Blade Records
Released: March 4, 2022
With 2019’s The Poisoner, their third full-length, Sanhedrin began to make a name for themselves, creating enough noise to turn heads over at Metal Blade Records, given the legendary record company no choice but to ink them to a deal less they live to regret their mistake. As solid as The Poisoner was, Sanhedrin have really come into their own here, on Lights On. An aptly title ass-kicking hard rock record, replete with slamming riff work, powerful vocals and a driven rhythm section, make Lights Out one solid slab of good, old fashioned rock n’ fuckin’ roll.
Album opener, Correction, lyrically references the global pandemic, including a power line that goes when “every child becomes a human sacrifice” – dark, but powerful, which is probably the only way to describe a pandemic. Superbly well composed and song structure is the modus operandi here, and as much as it is becoming the norm to compare any band of this genre to the sound that is so prevalently 1980s, it is hard not to use such a synonym. If we have to suffer the return of 80s fashion, we sure as hell can revert back to the good stuff, like 80s rock too, can we not?
On the records title track, Lights On, Sanhedrin are perhaps at their best, with a neat backing section to elevate the track just that little extra bit. The same is true for Lost At Sea (but don’t take my word for it, listen for yourself below), complete with anthemic choruses and perfect time changes, Sanhedrin excel at creating strong head-nodding leads and hooks any fisherman would be proud of. Ear-worms galore, and just when the groove starts to kick in, they switch gear, slam the gas pedal and away we go again. Full-throttle, high octane good times, that are a lot of fun to listen to. With the final cut, Death Is A Door, Sanhedrin slow down to a ballad and shatter the emotions of anyone brave enough to listen. This is a solid record.
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“We want to satisfy ourselves with music that we are proud to present to the world. That’s the overall plan with every record we have made,” states vocalist and bassist Erica Stoltz. Adds drummer Nathan Honor, “hoping it would likely reach the widest audience of any of our work thus far, it was important that we further refined our sound and pulled out all the stops. These songs are a collection of feelings of loss, uncertainty, hope, fear, anger and a deep examination of the human condition. The music draws from our deep and varied influences and is presented in a fashion that is unabashedly Sanhedrin.”
“Like everyone on Earth, we lost a lot of things that mattered to us in 2020,” says guitarist Jeremy Sosville. “I lost my mother due to cancer and was not able to say goodbye to her in the hospital because of pandemic restrictions. For me personally, the bond I share with my bandmates and the music we were working on for this album was essential to getting me through what turned out to be the worst year of many people’s lives, including my own.” The result of their efforts is a diverse collection with no two songs sounding quite alike without stepping outside of the Sanhedrin sound. “I think of it as a collection of songs that reflects our vast diversity of inspiration. Each song is its own experience and soundscape, while staying true to being part of a cohesive collection,” says Sosville, and elaborates Honor, “we just write music we want to hear. Having such varied tastes, we end up with songs that touch different parts of our influences. As a three-piece band it can be hard to be dynamic, so we strive to keep things interesting while staying true to ourselves.”
Tracked, mixed and co-produced by Colin Marston at his studio Menegroth, The Thousand Caves in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the band worked hard to capture their timeless, organic, live sound rather than something that sounded polished and contemporary, breathing extra life into the songs. “A record should capture the band’s essence and energy,” says Sosville. “There is a lot a band can do to enhance their sound with technology, but we try to avoid going down that slippery slope in favor of staying true to our live sound. That’s not to say we don’t use the tools available to enhance a moment here and there in the name of dynamics.”
Secure your copy of Lights On by visiting Metal Blade’s website, and grabbing an early pre-order copy, before the vultures get their grubby claws on them all.
For Fans Of: Thin Lizzy, The Damn Truth, The Pretty Reckless
02. Lights On
03. Lost At Sea
04. Change Takes Forever
05. Code Blue
06. Scythian Women
07. Hero’s End
08. Death Is A Door