Sunken is a two piece band, consisting of just bass and drums. I found this to be an interesting way of working and was curious to hear what these two guys had to offer. Quite the sonic journey lay ahead of me.
The album creeps into life with Patterns Of Despondence. The track starts off with a weird intro that gives way to a clean but punchy bass that plays over some really groovy drums. I’m instantly reminded of Om or Sleep, but after a while the song takes a different direction. A gruesome distortion kicks in and the drums start pounding and suddenly we find ourselves more in Conan territory. The song keeps alternating between these two moods for a while, until it gets even more intense with distorted vocals kicking in, screaming in pure despair it seems. The song ends out with a clean bass and groove, lifting the feeling of despair.
Dislocated starts off with an incredibly slow and heavy, reminding me of the old style of Moss, pure filth and dirt covered riffs. A somewhat strange, but deadly groove sets in, the distortion is taken off again and we wonder further into the dark regions of space, those places where no starlight shines. Quickly the crunching noise returns, drums becoming almost industrial, Godflesh like. Sunken know how to create strong, dynamic songs, that’s for sure!
Dropout begins with an irregular rhythm that gives way to a dreamy landscape of slightly fuzzy bass lines. Drums start building up to a crescendo, which surprisingly doesn’t come. No, a moment of silence takes us into an introspective piece of bass only to suddenly explode into afore mentioned crescendo. The bass keeps turning out these compelling lines, ordering you to move, only to collapse back into almost Neurosis alike moods.
Unwilling Part 1 starts off really frantically, somewhere between punk and industrial, with angular rhythms, a bass that almost sounds broken and a feeling of unease flowing from the speakers. Unwilling Part 2 then takes on a more doom or drone approach, with slow speeds, feedback and heavily distorted bass. Only after three minutes do the guys build up speed, after which a strange piece of clean, irregular bass is laid over a pretty basic backbone of drums, swelling and swelling in intensity until it explodes into silence.
Sunken ventures more into Om waters in the beginning. It quickly turns into something more nasty though. Again the band alternates between heavy and more soothing pieces, which makes for great dynamics. I think this band would totally crush on a stage.
Damage starts off more on the dissonant side of the band’s sound. Song structures seem to collapse into a state of chaos, yet out of the blur a solid bass line appears to guide us to a false sense of safety. It actually takes us into a strange land where no more structure exists, only bizarre noises and alien sounds.
Downwards begins quietly, with just some cymbals and clean bass. It stays this introspective until around two and a half minutes later, where the drumming gets more aggressive and the bass starts snarling and growling. The song gets more and more aggressive and hateful towards the end.
Recoil is the final track on this album. It starts off at a slow, but uneasy pace. The band meanders on for about five minutes, when the bass starts this exciting pulse and the drums start hinting at the heaviness that shall surely come. And come it does! A mind numbingly heavy riff is laid down here, beating the listener into submission. Then the band picks up speed and churns out an awesome riff, only to end the album on a quiet note.
Recoil is an exciting and well written album, with tons of dynamics and great grooves. Sunken are band to look out for in the future and you should get their album right now!
Scribed by: Kevin Kentie