Oct 18, 2010

Sons of Tonatiuh - S/T

Sons of Tonatiuh (pronounced “Tahn-a-tee-ah”)is from Atlanta, Georgia and if you are like me that pronunciation hint will be required, I thought it was something completely different when I first saw it in print. The band has been together a couple of years but have already released a demo and a single as well as created an serious buzz among both Sludge Metal and Doom Metal fans in the US underground scene. The four piece of Dan Caycedo - Guitar, Vocals from Leechmilk, Darby Wilson - Guitar, Vocals, Mike Tunno - Bass and Tim Genius on Drums are onto something extremely wicked here on this first full length release. For starters former Leechmilk singer and guitarist Dan Caycedo injects some 90's crusty punk values into the Sludge Doom melting pot on this album creating an very nasty blend of raw power and stripped-down Doom Metal aesthetics. Rather than simply copying a formula, Sons Of Tonatiuh have put their own spin into the genre by blending various styles, tempo changes and arrangements that are very different within the context of an "Sludge Metal" band.

It goes without saying that the guitars are down-tuned and are extremely crushing in their sonic capabilities but there is much more to the picture than first meets the eardrums. Songs will follow the typical Doom Metal blueprint for a while but then they will turn extremely ugly with blasts of furious crusty punk/metal crossover passages. One major factor is the drumming which is as heavy as the guitars, its not too often you can say that about any band but the drummer must be really angry about something as he punishes his kit on this disc. Track one, "To the Throne" is about as monolithic as anything released this year with an hellish riff. "Den of Thieves" combines energetic power with a raw metal simplicity and one section of the track has a almost old-school Speed metal attack. Such variety in the arrangements provide a hell of an roller-coaster ride of hate-filled metal. "Consumed" provides the first average moment of the album, while its still an colossal barrage of intensity, it's also by the numbers kind of sludge and that is something this band doesn't indulge in very often but Sons Of Tonatiuh are so brutal that their stock-standard is some other bands version of extreme.

"Adam and Evil" has tempo changes that seem to come out of nowhere, like they were never planned at all but somehow it remains cohesive. Along with these pummeling guitar and drum attacks of fury you also have Caycedo's throat-ripping screams, one of the best tracks to experience that is in the next tune titled "Chain Up The Masses". The fast sections of this track hammers home the point that this band is out to destroy and is one of the albums many highlights. "Oracle" features one of the albums most crushing doom riffs before again heading off into an gargantuan mixture of barraging hateful noise that is still fun to listen to. Each song on this album takes on you on a hateful, misanthropic journey without being proggy or pretentious. The last two tracks however, I found to be a bit forgettable, maybe its the shorter running times of each track, the two combined adds up to only 5 minutes and neither track has the lasting power of previous tunes although the album closer, "The Artifact" does remind me somewhat of Dan Caycedo's band Leechmilk and does highlight how much his songwriting and playing has progressed over the years. Fans of Eyehategod, Floor, Weedeater, Sourvein and Iron Monkey will want to wrap their ears around this beast of a album. Out on Hydro-Phonic.......8.5/10
Sons Of Tonatiuh @ Myspace

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