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Sanhedrin: Lights On

Like many around the globe over the last two years Sanhedrin too found themselves profoundly affected by the global plague. Not only dealing with the impositions we all had to manage with but also facing personal tragedies. On Sanhedrin’s latest release, Lights On, the songwriting acts as a cathartic expression to channel the darkness and pain felt by the isolation and loss felt through these trying years.

Sanhedrin are a band that has always drawn heavily from the classic material of heavy metal legends like Judas Priest and Motörhead. On Lights On this formula has certainly not changed. They open the album with Covid inspired “Correction”. Musically it’s a cool rocker, however on this particular track I feel the lyrics are a little too obvious. Even though the feeling is genuine it’s a touch cringe nonetheless. The guitar tones throughout are more Point Of Entry than Painkiller but that can be a nice palate cleanser after listening to a lot of more extreme metal. The passion and songwriting is there though and highlighted on the title track which continues in the same vein stylistically while also incorporating more of the bands influences like Indie and Alternative Rock from the late 80’s. Erica Stoltz does a great job at carrying the catchy and memorable vocals forward. She has quite a distinctive voice that almost reminds me of a Smokey folk singer. Jeremy Sosville does a good job with the riffs, again drawing heavily on the past masters of metal, but to great effect. He crafts simple yet cool foundations for the vocals to ride high on. The song “Lost at sea” is a good example of some very cool riffing. “Change Takes Forever” is another cool moody hard hitter with some nice driving drumming by Nathan Honor who lays it down with solid certitude. Next track “Code Blue” a bit too stripped back and straightforward with riffing that I’m pretty sure every bedroom guitarist has written at some point. Not a terrible song but it does feel a bit generic and less exciting than what preceded it. “Scythian Women” is what the band describes as a pre-Christian expression of womanhood. Musically it’s very much Piece Of Mind era Iron Maiden worship. “Hero’s End” is more of a slow paced Doomier affair. Perhaps it’s a personal preference thing but I find Sanhedrin more exciting when they are more uptempo. When they slow things down I find it less engaging but I’m sure fans of slower Doom like moodiness will enjoy it. The heavier section towards the end leading into the guitar solo is pretty damn cool though. Finally the album closes out with “Death Is A Door” it begins subdued with drumming that reminds me of the kind of patterns Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason was using on live at Pompeii era material, before it kicks in to a more uptempo heavy rocker.

Sanhedrin sail a little too close to their influences to really shake up the world of music. At times they play it too safe to really excite me and I wish they would crank up their amps and distortion a little more. However they have delivered a solid, enjoyable effort in Lights On. The music is simple and straightforward and most of the songs are catchy and memorable. Lights On won’t set the world on fire but it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something with a classic feel executed with passion and love for the genre.

Sanhedrin line-up:
Erica Stoltz- vocals/bass
Jeremy Sosville -guitars
Nathan Honor- drums

Track Listing
1) Correction
2) Lights On
3) Lost At Sea
4) Change Takes Forever
5) Code Blue
6) Scythian Women
7) Hero's End
8) Death Is A Door

Added: September 24th 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 297
Language: english

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