Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, which by the way is just a BEAUTIFUL band name, are a band that birth some of 2015’s heftiest riffs on their long awaited debut Self-Titled record. Primordial, dense and fucking unstoppable, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth have crafted and perfected their own brand of serious doom.
The ominous rampage of Lava hits you full on with dense, crushing riffs that bring to mind the swagger of High On Fire. That is, however, a bit of a red herring for the slow burn majesty of Empires Of Dust that follows it. Lumbering doom melds with post metal ebb and flow style dynamics to create a leviathan dirge, with a low growling vocal that intersects every so often. It doesn’t feel oppressive however; more melancholic and wistful. There’s almost a sense of soaring, a sense of space within the heaviness where melody can sit.
That bleeds into the delicate Unnamed that develops into a stomping, prehistoric thunder. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest of the US, and more specifically for main man Tad Doyle Seattle, the soul of heavy rock and doom that has been spawned from that region over the years has settled deep into Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth. The sludgy doom template that crawls from the guitars of the Melvins is especially prevalent in the lurching La Mano Poderosa.
La Mano Poderosa is probably the track that fully describes, musically, what Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth are all about. It has vast riffs that steamroller you into oblivion, but it isn’t a claustrophobic punishment. Riffs are measured and open, and the choppier moments belie a subtle disregard for the overly repetitive stoner doom cliché of ‘same riff over and over until you drown’. Take the soothing intro to I Am. A tribal drumbeat provides the lynchpin, while a Neurosian vocal line strains above a glacial guitar. When the riff comes in, it hits with the emotional force of a hammer, moving you from deep inside. A beautiful technique used with aplomb here.
The two bonus tracks on the release make a fine addition to an already stellar record. The lurking menace of The Immutable Path is a tribal ritual, while the tinkling piano of Outro finishes the record quite nicely. Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth have arrived to take up the crown of Neurosis for primeval doom riffage. They may not manage to equal their peers, but Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth come close. I am a big Neurosis fan, and hearing this record is like hearing Neurosis in their prime. A little bit rawer, a little bit less polished, but the promise is definitely there. A fine debut but you definitely feel like there is a lot more riffs to come from these weavers of metal incarnate.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson