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Sonja - Loud Arriver review

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Band: Sonja
Album: Loud Arriver
Release date: September 2022

01. When The Candle Burns Low...
02. Nylon Nights
03. Pink Fog
04. Wanting Me Dead
05. Fuck, Then Die
06. Daughter Of The Morning Star
07. Moans From The Chapel
08. Loud Arriver

I'm glad the album is called "Loud Arriver" instead of using "come" as a synonym for "arrive". That would've made things even weirder, especially for such a horny album.

Some of you may remember Melissa Moore from her time in Absu as Vis Crom between 2009 and 2018, though she's been part of bands as far back as 1995. But the end of her collaboration with Absu seemed to weirdly coincide with her coming out as transgender, so while Absu has shifted into Proscriptor McGovern's Apsû, continuing in pretty much the same blackened thrash vein, Melissa Moore gave birth to Sonja, a beast of a completely different shape. Though Sonja seems to have been formed a bit earlier than Moore's departure, which would explain the difference in sound, but it is the kind of thing that does feel at least a bit retrospectively informed by the context of its main member.

The sound of this is quite on the border between heavy metal and hard rock, thus it had quite an obvious retro touch, feeling like a lot of the old music that felt more metal within its context rather than for its own heaviness. Add to that a very obvious glam and goth tinge and you have yourself quite a... sexually charged album. Not like the album cover and album title didn't make that very obvious. Hence why I said that it's context does make it a pretty strong affirmation aside from its purely musical standing. And considering how this brand of heavy metal is especially fit for androgynous vocals, it makes perfect sense why it would be the niche to go to for Moore's vocals. The vocals themselves I see as being the biggest point of contention for listeners (something that ironically seems to affect the metal genre with the most conventional vocals), since Moore's vocals are neither especially grating nor monotonous, though there are moments where I can see why they'd be seen (heard?) as such, especially because of the unnecessarily huge amount of reverb added on top of it.

Musically, the trio manage to make some neatly catchy melodies, giving the sound a rawness that doesn't necessarily just translate to heaviness. Given the experience of the other two members in bands like Woe and Tombs, the transition to melodic heavy metal went pretty smoothly. Context aside, this fits pretty neatly in the new wave of heavy metal resurgence that has been happening the past decade, from bands like Cauldron and Spell to the similarly gothic tinged Idle Hands/Unto Others. Yet Sonja still carves a further niche by the very specific way that glam and goth mix on this album, something helped by the incredible guitar licks on this record.

Therefore, I agree, this arrived pretty loudly. Maybe next time with a bit less reverb.

Written on 01.10.2022 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 114 users
01.10.2022 - 16:09
X-Ray Rod
I agree that the effects on the vocals are a bit too much. But damn it, this whole thing is hot AF. Sign me the fuck up. Love this type of "dark" heavy/goth metal that doesn't take itself too seriously and you can dance/headbang at the same time.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
01.10.2022 - 22:08
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Doing Nik's Jobe?
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
01.10.2022 - 22:26
Written by Bad English on 01.10.2022 at 22:08

Doing Nik's Jobe?

I am Nik.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
03.10.2022 - 00:45

I heard a couple songs and was interested but now this review has convinced me to give the album a spin

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