It was with their album Matterhorn that Canadian noise metallers The Great Sabatini infected and infested our psyche, the release an introduction to the virulently destructive and invasive sonic devilry which exudes from the distorted imagination of the band. It was ‘a crippling, desensitising, and cruel intrusion’ which was exhilarating and riveting. Now the band returns with third album Dog Years, an evolution of its predecessor whilst thrusting the band into a new warped field of diverse sonic hostility and intensive imagination. The new ten track release is not as cruel and destructive as its predecessor in many ways but instead a more concentrated examination and manipulation of the senses and psyche casting a diversity in its venomous acts which is absolutely enthralling. It is a masterful tempest from a band which just gets more dangerous and impressive.
Formed in 2007, The Great Sabatini consisting of Steve, Sean, Rob, and Joey has been an uncompromising and creatively destructive force from day one, debut EP Burning Wilderness in their first year an attention grabbing notice of intent. Finding the darkest toxic seeds within doom metal, progressive rock, grindcore and much more to infuse into their unique sound, the Montreal quartet were soon recruiting feverish responses live too whilst first album Sad Parade of Yesterdays in 2009 put a wider focus on guard to the band. Live The Great Sabatini has left audience gasping alongside bands such as KEN Mode, Coliseum, Today is the Day, Fuck the Facts, Threat Signal, Psyopus, and Bionic. The No List Records released Matterhorn in 2012 drew even more eager souls towards their maelstrom of sound but even its success should pale once the Solar Flare Records unleashed Dog Years begins savaging the world.
Recorded with and mixed/ mastered by Sean Pearson (Cursed, Shallow North Dakota), the album is as raw and caustic as anything the band has done, though as mentioned earlier it is not as grievously nasty as its predecessor. That might be simply because there is an element of knowing what is going to corrode the senses this time around if not in the design it will come in. Dog Years certainly leaps out with starter The Royal We, its insidiously addictive rhythmic coaxing and snarling riffs at the start primal bait before which defences have their hands up within seconds. It is a spiteful virulence which even as it is expands its intensity and weight never relinquishes its grip. Eventually the lure has a more merciful intent though the heated vocal squalls more than make up for any drop in antagonism. It is a vindictive number which just as hungrily relishes charging with nostrils flaring or crawling over nerve ends with a predation glee, and a stunning start to the album.
The following Guest Of Honor is just as voracious and twisted in its sixty seven second long web of sonic enterprise and vitriol. Bestial in its rampage and serpentine in its enslaving grooves, the track is a blistering assault of noise and hardcore intensity which makes way for the mischievous swagger and pungent sonic binding of Nursing Home. The track whips around ears and senses with a dervish like energy but takes sludge bred breaks in between each outburst to further impose and encroach on the psyche. With disorientating rhythms, nagging riffs, and abrasing venom to its veins, the track is a bewitching protagonist which seduces as its lashes the imagination, a structure employed again in its own unique way by Periwinkle War Hammer. The new song is initially sinister in its breath and stalking but the sheltered intimidation is soon open as rhythms launch a thumping upon ears and vocals a grazing squall upon senses. There is a slight stoner-esque twang to the stride of the song which with a portentous dark breath to its climate makes for another distinct and appetite igniting foraging of the mind.
Next Reach comes with a rapacious sludge metal suasion to its lumbering, riffs a primal animalistic bait along with rhythms whilst grooves and vocals bring a lighter yet no less ruinous colour to the sonic swamp. It is a heavy handed consumption but one with a magnetic radiance which tempers some of the pressure conjured by the band and its intensity, something certainly not an issue with the following Akela. To completely wrong foot thoughts and emotions the track is a countrified croon, a bluegrass like caress which tantalises as much as it, in a good way bemuses. Whether a respite, a smile inducer, or a slice of madness, the song is an absorbing twist to the album which is soon back in full rabidity with the excellent Munera. It is another track where the heat of its passion and fury burns with every sonic note and searing groove, whilst hostility is represented by animosity fuelled rhythms and vocal friction. Contagion though seeps from its every pore and feuding note to create a fury you just want to be savaged persistently by.
Pitchfork Pete is much the same, though again it is an individual in the schizophrenic beauty of the album. Almost satanic in its vocal narrative and pestilential in it’s even paced and tempered gait, the track growls and prowls with a doom clad hunger which once more is part seduction and part malignancy. Transfixing from start to finish, it sinks down to a crawl and subsequently a sonic piercing before the wonderfully deranged intricacies of Ditch Diggers Unlimited jumble up ears and imagination. It is only the appetiser though to a darker manipulative sonic toxicant which worms under skin and psyche to chain the passions before infusing a crushing weight of riffs and intensity into its slow seducing.
The album is completed by the unforgettable Life During Wartime, a track with the quaintness of forties melodies and the predatory ferocity of a thousand conflicts. Its initial presence is raw and uncomfortable but respectful in its evocative presence yet as the track grows its narrative and descriptive resentment, it fuels a fierce and compelling landscape. It is an immense end to an outstanding release, without doubt the finest ravaging from The Great Sabatini yet and you still feel there is more to come from the band, scary!
Dog Years is available digitally and on vinyl via Solar Flare Records @ http://solarflarerds.bigcartel.com now!
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