Sunpocrisy - Samaroid Dioramas review
03. Φ - Phi
07. Samaroid Dioramas
After a stale and subpar 2011, 2012 has been a bounce back year for the post metal and atmospheric sludge genres. Why the comeback? Well, the bands today are not standing pat with the "Cult of Neur-Isis" tried-and-trued formula. Instead a lot of the newer groups have jumped head first into experimentation. Daring to push the envelope, these bands are trying very hard to be that band no one sounds like. Keeping the "post" framework standard but rearranging and maneuvering outside its core, post-whatever bands are now sprinkling in a black metal passage here or a punk riff there. What's being concocted is musical genre bending that's fresh and exciting.
Enter Sunpocrisy, a six piece band from Italy and their first full length LP Samaroid Dioramas - Samaroid is Dioramas backwards - an epic concept album exploring the inevitable duality man faces while existing on Earth. An important fact is that the band plays this music live as a unique experience performance, giving a lot of attention to strobe lights and atmospheric effects and suggestive video projections for visuals. Knowing this while listening to the album adds to the effect of the music - almost feeling overwhelmed - and the flawless marksmanship of the musicians and crisp sound production only enhances this feeling. As you push your way through this hour long epic be prepared to hear the many influences that shape Sunpocrisy: The crushing waves of layered guitar fuzz and distortion of Cult Of Luna, the calculated blast beats of the djent band Meshuggah. The death growl vocals of The Ocean. The clean vocals of Alcest. When the intensity of the songs gets taken down a notch, smooth overtones, keyboards, samples and reverb like Rosetta engage the listener. Precise drumming, almost computer-like, isolate crashing cymbals ala Isis. And my favorite, the immaculate sounding bass guitar patented by Tool when the songs go almost surreal. Add on the odd, seamless progressive metal time change unbeknownst to the listener and what you have is a formula guaranteed to succeed. I love that all of these elements react so well together and the album flows with ease from beginning to end.
This sound isn't for the generic or uncomplicated. It is a very complex album and lyrically it is very challenging, meaningful and thought provoking. That is why I like this album so much. It's thinking man's music and this makes the replay value extremely high. I've listened to hundreds of albums in 2012 and unless something knocks my socks off by the end of the year, I present to you my 2012 album of the year.
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