You Can’t Go Back is the third album release from Toronto’s Sarin. Primarily focussed on the more immediate end of post-metal this is a very pleasing release and while it may not plough the drawn out and super serious furrows of many of their contemporaries, the catchiness of riffs and songwriting did engage this listener immediately. Taking inspiration from mid-era ISIS (you’ll notice a few borrowed riffs from Celestial here and there) Sarin manage to come up with a formula that is original enough to be a worthwhile addition to the genre.
It’s clear Sarin have a knack for a big catchy riff, and this creates a different overall feeling from much of the genre they operate in. While many post-metal bands like to hold back their big riff until the perseverance of the listener is tested, Sarin do no such thing. The opening of the album is a case in point, with a huge launch into Cold Open.
Sarin eschew vocals for large sections of this record and although band guitarist and frontman David Wilson’s burly style fits in places, it’s on instrumental lead single Thick Mire that the band are at their best. Compelling percussion leads the listener on a frantic charge to the finish line. Like on the album as a whole Sarin benefit here from brevity, not allowing the introspection that dominates the songwriting of their peers to get in the way of the overall metallic feel. Thick Mire has all the hallmarks of a crowd pleasing set closer.
It’s clear Sarin have a knack for a big catchy riff, and this creates a different overall feeling from much of the genre they operate in…
Wilson has mentioned that the record was written as he was going through the collapse of a relationship and although you wouldn’t guess this from the overall vibe of the album, in some sections a sense of vulnerability is present, especially on the instrumental track Otherness. An opening melody that wouldn’t be out of place coming from Yawning Man supremo Gary Arce leads into the gentlest song on the record. The initial section is both incongruous and welcome as it gives way to a slow build that nods to the more esoteric style of bands such as The Moth Gatherer.
Employing a similar laid back opening as Otherness is album closer Leave Your Body, however as we head towards the end of the album, the energy picks up that finishes the album with a real punch. Wilson has been open in interviews that he owes a lot of his style to ISIS and on this song, both the riff and vocals are reminiscent of their classic mid period. There is certainly enough originality here to make the comparison seem slightly churlish, and the closing guitarwork returns to a euphoric feel that is Sarin’s own.
Scribed by: Ian M