Imagine a life where every day that you wake up feels like a freshly opened wound. Every sunrise burns like a cigarette scorching your flesh and every night feels like you’ve been buried alive. Every single person you interact with is disgusting. No matter how hard you try, every day you hate the world a little more. Every day you become that much more depressed. Every day you die more.
These feelings have been channeled into the debut ep from Temecula, California’s heavyweight rookies, Sentiment.
You can’t take this. You’re sick of feeling nothing but absolute fucking hatred, whether it be for yourself or those around you.
From the very first earworm groove of album opener “Dormant”, guitarists Adan Snyder and Everett Kemper make their mission statement clear: they are here to break your will. Throughout the ep’s seven stunning tracks, Snyder and Kemper chug, groove, and slam their way through the listener’s mental barriers, breaking them down to their most primal, raw state. From more straight-forward crowdkill anthems like “Internal Antics” and the chilling climactic groove that ends “Schizo” to the more melodic cuts like the title track and most of “Empty Hands”, these two masters of the mosh riff completely dominate the listener’s brain, only to give way to bassist Kevin Walker. Throughout EDIDM Walker creeps underneath, like a serial killer waiting to strike. Every last chug of the guitar is given extra ferocity and urgency, every time the snare pops Walker can be found, playing perfectly in time to suffocate and smother the listener in dirty, murky bass tones and grooves that would snap your neck. Shining example’s of this are the aformentioned title track and “Burn”. Aiding these three groove gurus is drummer Tristan Gudino (who some of you may know from his previous band, Skies of Iris”), who has done what so many set out to do: create the perfect blend of flashy technicality and neanderthal brutality. Equal parts bouncy and crushing, Gudino gives each song the perfect touch, never straying too far away from murderous double bass grooves and absurdly precise fills. Moments like the ending breakdown to “Empty Hands” and the slower, more experimental title track exemplify this perfectly, showing off Gudino’s flashiness and aggression and blending the two seamlessly.
Are you tired yet? I know you are. Each day is worse. Every day gets harder and harder to get through without snapping. Each second around another person is hell for you.
And so it is for vocalist Ross McCain.
Acting as the voice behind all the negativity you feel, McCain dominates each and every song with a refreshingly unique and powerful vocal range. Pulling influence from heavy music titans Matt Honeycutt, Hunter Young, and Gus Farias, McCain still manages to put his own twist on a tried-and-true vocal style that will be sure to make him a household name. Opening up “Empty Hands” with bitter barks and bellowing lows, McCain makes his message shine through: he is a broken man and he will be heard out. Whether he’s directing that rage at the state of the world around him like on “Internal Antics” or the chilling delivery he provides alongside Santos Camara of Groundfeeder on “Shizo”, McCain bluntly barrels his way into the listener’s emotions, resonating more and more with each depressive lyric he spits out. Tracks like “Burn” and “These Words” see McCain at his best, letting loose with a full arsenal of shouts, grunts, and gutturals that perfectly match the atmosphere of each song and each and every last crushing riff. Not one for any sense of subtlety, McCain breathes nothing but self-hatred and misanthropy. And after the way he’s been treated up to this album, can you blame him?
Every day you die more. Every day pushes you closer to the brink.
And you love it.
Rarely does a heavy album come along that showcases everything perfect about heavy music. EDIDM is one of those albums. From the opening moments of “Dormant” to the pit-anthem that is the second half of “Internal Antics”, Sentiment showcases how heavy they can be, only to flip the witch and demonstrate how effective they are on writing melodic tracks, such as “Empty Hands” and the title track. Blending together soaring, beautiful melodies and bone-shattering breakdowns and riffs, Sentiment have crafted a truly perfect album. Fans of all kinds of heavy music will be sure to find something they love on each track. Get ready for big things from Sentiment.
These words were sentiment, but now I’ve lost it.
FFO: Adaliah, Silence, Kublai Khan, Volumes