Sarin - You Can't Go Back review

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Band: Sarin
Album: You Can't Go Back
Release date: February 2021

01. Cold Open
02. When You Melt
03. Reckoner
04. Thick Mire
05. Otherness
06. Leave Your Body

Musically, I have spent the better part of the last 10 years or so trying to find a substantial replacement for arguably my favorite post-metal band of all time, Isis. I have listened to hundreds of bands, searching for that mystic and enigmatic sound. Interesting bands pop up on my post-metal radar here and there, and Canadian outfit Sarin are one of my favorites right now.

You Can't Go Back is different from their first two releases, gargantuan albums that are firmly planted into the archaic and mysterious realm of the post-metal landscape. Different in that this album is stripped down and not as sophisticated. Bass and the general heavy wall of sound are blueprint mainstays in Sarin's music and do the heavy lifting here. The album in general is more straightforward and riff-oriented, and less concerned with complex song structures. The vocals are almost non-existent this time; the album could be classified as instrumental atmospheric sludge metal, which is a crying shame, because the vocalist sounds exactly like Aaron Turner. The electronic elements are toned down too, but crescendoes and subdued post- moments are still present by way of tremolo picked guitars, slower pacing and trance-like drumming.

Is You Can't Go Back a letdown? Not quite. It's hard to complain with a straight face about an underground band releasing an album during a pandemic while trudging through a major line-up change. I just wish You Can't Go Back was a bit longer and had the flawlessly executed cerebration of their previous two albums. To end on a positive note, I will say the album has grown on me with every listen; the production and mixing are done really well and the songs flow seamlessly from one to the next.

Try it here: Bandcamp

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 19.02.2021 by Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!


Comments: 2   Visited by: 9 users
23.02.2021 - 17:21
Daddy Pig
I agree with having a hard time finding an Isis replacement. I spent all of last June listening to Post Metal with the hope of discovering this band. The closest I got was with Glacier (USA-BO). I don't remember them sounding much like Isis but I do remember becoming emotionally attached to their sound, as I have been with Isis. I can't remember if I listened to Sarin or not, but I will now! Thanks!
23.02.2021 - 18:03
Au Pays Natal
Written by Daddy Pig on 23.02.2021 at 17:21

The closest I got was with Glacier (USA-BO).

I've been meaning to check them out. Thanks for the rec. Like you stated, not necessarily Isis clones but here are some others that have that special "it" factor:

The Moth Gatherer
Moanaa (new album soon)
The Basement Paintings
Bossk (new album soon)

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