Sons Of Tonatiuh – ST – CD/LP 2010

Coming from the depths of Atlanta Georgia, a place known for it’s more multicultural take on Southern style it is no wonder that Sons Of Tonatiuh mix up a heady brew of doom, sludge and crust that combines anvil heavy, slow, crushing riffs with snarling berserker, punk like passages that recall New Orleans sluggers Eyehategod.

The band comprising of drummer Tim Genius, guitarist/vocalist Dan Caycedo, bassist Mike Tunno and guitarist/vocalist Darby Wilson tapped engineer Jay Matheson (Kylesa, Black Tusk, Dark Castle) to record the album at the legendary Jam Room Studios in Columbia, South Carolina and the result is an uncompromising schizoid attack that manages to make their low down dirty noise sound crisp, powerful and razor sharp.

The tracks themselves contain moments of huge prehistoric, lumbering walls of solid doom that will have even the most cold-hearted metal fan nod their head like a donkey on Mogadon, conjuring plenty of passages where the listener can lose themselves in the groove.

However this soporific effect is only temporary and the Son’s have a knack for yanking you back out of this with a feral jackboot to the knackers demanding your focus and attention. Despite the sound of it, this is all carried off with some style; there is a reeling Southern waltz feel on occasions which suggests a dangerously astute grasp of song writing skills. Sure they could beat you into submission with Sabbath cloned riff after riff, but that would quickly lose its appeal and consign them to the anonymity of the doom scene faster than you could spot an acid casualty at a straight edge gig. The wider range of influences and styles at work here mean that Sons of Tonatiuh constantly drag your focus back to what is going on with the music in real time as it becomes impossible to just let the music wash over you.

‘Adam & Evil’ starts the album off with delicious, thick, sludgy guitars; ‘Chain up the Masses’ claws and screams for attention; ‘Oracle’ is an almost progressive slice of funeral doom, whilst ‘Consumed’ stands out as showcasing their take on all these styles within the space of one track.

There are times on this record where it is like the aural equivalent of a snuff movie, uncomfortable and edgy ensuring you are unable to look away… add in the balls out confidence contained in their Southern swagger, this may not be the most original release you’ll ever hear, but it is one that will draw you back to it again and again and one that will grow on you with every listen.

Label: Hydro-Phonic Records

Scribed: Mark Hunt-Bryden