Wednesday 8 April 2015

Ssanahtes - 'Ssanahtes' EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 20/04/2015
Label: Self-released

‘Ssanahtes’ DD track listing:

1. Blue Druidess
2. The Edge
3. Black Dragon
4. Words

Ssanahtes is:
Fabien Loustalot | Vocals, synths|
Thomas Daniel | Guitars, songwriting, production
Nicolas La Rosa | Guitars, production
Franck Roder | Bass, production
Dylan Hyard | Drums, samples


Ssanahtes are only getting started, with this EP being their first release, but they’re clearly open to trying something different. They start by citing influences—Meshuggah and Electric Wizard are the two that jumped out at me—that sound like they’d clash stylistically. But once you actually give the EP a shot, the (musical) picture becomes a bit clearer. The gist is that Ssanahtes are a blend everything from early Isis to Meshuggah at a snail’s pace. The result is an interesting sound concoction, but one that might benefit from a bit more focus, either narrowing the sound slightly into something a bit more cohesive, or finding a way to melt these existing pieces into one and other a bit more effectively.

Speaking about the EP in general, the songs seem to go from “dissonant post metal song”, to the “super-slow djent song”, and so on. Everything is largely done well, but the songs feel a bit too disconnected from each other to form a coherent “Ssanahtes sound”, which is something every band needs. You can certainly hear the talent, and they’re also well ahead of the game in crafting memorable riffs. The opening track “Blue Druidess” with its deep, bellowing guitar phrasing early on, is a clear standout, along with “The Edge”, which is built around those lethargic, convulsive Meshuggah-isms I mentioned earlier. These songs are really all the ingredients the band needs going forward.

With Ssanahtes just beginning their journey as a band, it’s easy to forgive them for working out what is effective and what isn’t on their first release. They’ve already got a lot of potential and skill. Now they just need to recognize which elements are their strongest and then develop and nurture them, rather than having so much going on that it feels like throwing everything at the wall just to see what sticks.

Words by: Daniel Jackson

You can pick up a digital copy here.

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