Saturday 4 August 2012

Sons Of Tonatiuh - 'Parade Of Sorrow' (Album Review)

By: Aaron Pickford

Album Type: Full Length
Date: Released: 11/06/2012
Label: Hydro-Phonic Records

…oozing and drenched in raw ugliness.  Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity, this album is unashamedly evil sounding, and like the album as whole, everything about it is a triumph. 

‘Parade of Sorrow’ CD//DD//LP track listing

1). Intro 00:53
2). White Wall 03:36
3). Parade of Sorrow 03:05
4). Plastic Cell 02:51
5). Colors Run Red 05:29
6). Seasons Of Pills 03:18
7). One By One 03:50
8). Sea Sick 03:28
9). Eye So Blind 02:44
10). Fallout 7:30

Sons of Tonatiuh is:

Mike Tunno on bass & vocals
Tim Genius on drums
Dan Caycedo on guitar & vocals

The Review:

Starting off the record with a 00:50s instrumental with some of the finest sounding drums I have heard this year, it is as if Sons of Tonatiuh  are warming up for their next gig, before unleashing the full power of their arsenal.  Intent on destroying their audience, the din of feedback leads us into the chaos that ensues with ‘White Wall’, front man Dan Caycedo screeching his throat out in the process. 

The musicality from the start is sublime, but what we have here is some nasty hardcore punk infused sludge, which comes at you like a battering ram.  A tool used in medieval warfare to smash things into dust, and this is what this record is intent on doing.  From the outset, Sons of Tonatiuh make an immediate impact upon the listener.   ‘Parade of Sorrow’ has a rough and ragged production sound in the mix, but what you get is a tirade of  jarring riffs, stunning drums and a bass sound to die for and a shrill of satanic screams.  Have I got your attention yet?  Stick with me.  White Wall’ is pacy number with ferocious power in abundance, embracing a torrent of anarchic screams of torment.   Barking out 'White Wall', Dan Caycedo sounds like a man in the pits of despair and is somehow cathartically exorcising himself with his lamentations of the world or anthems of malevolence or malignity.  Despite the albums pace, there are great moments when they slow things down and a brilliant sounding bass is an intergral part of the dynamic to this band.  It often comes to the fore, coupled with the scarifying guitar sound taking the band into a more sludgier or mid paced doom direction with smatterings of barred chord slide riffs, the occasional subtle lead passage and clean vocals.  I love it!

‘Parade of Sorrow’ continues where the last track left off in terms of pace.  It is a slow downcast, morose sounding riff, with a tight bass and drum sound.  We have chugging type riffs too and to top things off the band turns into a stunning hardcore band towards the end, with a frenetic Discharge type vibe.  The variety of influences on the record is clear to see and to me, this sets them apart from other bands out there.  It seems as if they're a hardcore punk band incorporating sludge sounds and not a sludge band incorporating punk.  ‘Plastic cell’ is another fantastic track and to me this is straight up hardcore, what's more, it is incredible! Despite having its roots firmly in hardcore, you've got the tone of doom/sludge guitars too, which adds further depth and range to their sound. 

‘Colors Run Red’ again is one of the longer tracks on the record and highlights that the band can slow things down too.  Dan's vocals are not as reliant upon the screaming vocals during the opening of the track; however he appears to be building until he unleashes the fury, which he does at the 2:00 mark.  To me this track feels like a very anthemic tune and has an epic feel to it, because it incorporates many things to it and the quality of the rhythm section really comes to fore, the drums specifically are first class and the track builds and builds, seemingly sticking to a format, but then unleashing smatterings of off-kilter riffs.  Another brilliant track.

‘Season Of Pills’ comes with a crushing opening chugging riff and this is the band back in full sludge mode for the first half of the track at least.   There is an incredible moment when only the bass can be heard during a breakdown in the track, it sounds thick, sick and heavy.  It is worth mentioning too the great work on vocals by Mike, who gives the track a gang vocal flavour.  Incredibly Sons of Tonatiuh seem to have so many tricks up their sleeves in terms of pacing and variety, because there is a lead break in the track which is great.  In addition there is a point where the guitar does this heavy slide bend which is so heavy, it's breathtaking.  What is clear is that the band are on top form and have produced a record of superior quality.

‘One by One’ is perhaps the most surprising track on the record, because dare I say, it shows a softer side to band.  On the one hand it remains very aggressive, as this album encapsulates but the vibe does feel mellower.  It's not a ballad, don't get me wrong, but when you listen to it, you'll know what I mean.  Because let's not kid ourselves, you need to check out this record.  Seasick’ kicks off with another doom/sludge serving of  riffs, it feels progressive stylistically, with a chromatic progression in terms of the riffs and it is once again brilliantly executed by the band.  It is during the song, where I try to draw comparisons with Dan's vocals, however annoyingly it never comes.  I think it is because of the rootsy hardcore punk influence of say Minor Threat, that Dan reminds me of those bands, and the album is dowsed in slurry of hardcore influence.  The pacing of hardcore is never too far away and although there maybe only small forays into that genre on this track, it just makes the record seem so much more rounded and holistic. 

‘Eye so Blind’ is just a sublime track and is a superior example of sludge metal at it's best.  Man, it is just a classy son of a bitch of a track, dirty rotten ugliness.   It is a seething testament of why we love this music so much; indeed I’d go so far as to say it is the standout track of many on the record.  Again the dual vocals are used to great affect. One thing is clear, I am not blind to talent and my ears do not lie, this is a blistering track and at 1:30 mark a galloped type riffs just eclipses everything we have heard before it.  Totally brilliant.  This leads us into ‘Fallout’, and the final track of the album, also the longest.  It is a slow paced sludgey number.  The track simply oozes and is drenched in raw ugliness.  Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity, this track is unashamedly evil sounding, and like the album as whole, everything about it is a triumph. 

Finshing off with discordance and ear piercing din of feedback.  Another stellar record from another fantastic band.  Got buy it and support this band! 

‘Parade of Sorrow’ is available here

Band info: Bandcamp | Facebook | label