Known Flood is an extensive and challenging journey through desolate landscapes, pervading shadows, and far reaching sonic climates, but most of all it is an album which ensnares thoughts and passions with some of the most descriptive ambiences and sounds brought to metal. The album is the masterful work of Brooklyn band Sannhet, a trio who infuse the widest array of sounds from black, sludge, and doom to groove and post metal. They have created a flight of impacting and inspiring imagination through nine startling and enthralling instrumentals, pieces which captivate everything from senses and thoughts through to the heart. One would suggest the band with their debut is only starting out on their creative discovery and still have a depth of promise to explore, which makes the release all the more impressive and a future truly exciting for them and us.
Consisting of Christopher Todd (drums and samples), John Refano (guitar and loopers), and AJ Annunziata (bass), Sannhet first released Known Flood on vinyl through US Sacrament earlier in the year and now it receives its worldwide CD unveiling with ConSouling Sounds and it is hard not to expect the album to make a deep impact. Already the recipients of strong acclaim for their live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Black Cobra, The Atlas Moth, Hull, Enabler, Yakuza, and Altar of Plagues, the trio looks set to take things to another mighty level once the Colin Marston (Krallice, Behold… The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia) recorded release works its magnetic and inventive alchemy on the globe.
Absecon Isle opens up the dramatic adventure, the track immediately charging through to the imagination with urgent hungry rhythms and scorching melodic acidity as the rugged land of the invading soundscape opens up its bleak yet wondrous arms. Powerful and captivating the song eventually slows enough for the listener to take in the sights within the exhausting soundscape and for visions to shape their own mystery and the picturesque intimidation around them. It is a riveting start soon built upon to deeper pleasure by the following Safe Passage, its bulging rhythmic invitation a towering beckon to start off another breath stealing venture. As the drums continue to cage and disorientate, the guitars create a sonic mist which invades every pore and thought whilst the lingering yet drifting ambience is a stark evocation with sinister overtones especially as vocal samples whisper in the shadows. There are a few vocals additives across the album but all are textures and further facets to the narrative rather than any beacon to cling on to and add further richness to the invention.
The second track moves discreetly behind chilling chanting into its successor Invisible Wounds which in turn darkens the skies and brings in imposing intense clouds and rays of sonic beauty within the rapacious rhythmic confrontation from drums and bass. The track offers up harsh and intrusive breath but at the same time mesmerises with a melodic colour which paints a refuge within the demanding scenery exposing its claws.
As the songs Endless Walls, Moral, and Slow Ruin, the first a tempest of bedlamic emotion and intensity with a wall of rhythmic hypnotism, lay down their individual raw vistas the listener is pulled deeper into the expressive and at times spiteful depths of the unforgiving but rewarding world being unveiled. Whether it is one massive unpredictable realm or a journey through separate majestic heavy and unrelated terrains is up to the individual to interpret but as the last two of these three songs show as they take the senses into their own coarse grasps, it is an easy and fluid transition from song to song which is borne of craft and imagination from three openly outstanding composers and musicians.
The tremendous Haunches which again blends a rhythmic seduction that is irresistible with a sonic flailing wrapped in melodic insidiousness, pulls the passions up to another lofty height. The track, featuring guest squalling and ravenous vocal sounds from David Castillo from Primitive Weapons, is merciless as it softens up the senses further before making way to the biggest highlight of the album Still Breathing. From its dark but restrained doomy beginning the song evolves into a gallop of again inciting delicious rhythmic compulsion within a sonic wash of emotive provocation from the guitars. It is a gentler and more vibrantly hued atmosphere which envelopes the ear but no less hungry and voracious than any other of the more caustically paraded track.
With Flatlands providing a final lingering corrosive embrace, it is an outstanding end to a richly impressive release. A venture inspiring new hopes and fears with each traverse of its invention, Known Flood is the declaration of a new emerging force, and one which will set benchmarks ahead you only suspect.
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