Sanity Control - War On Life review


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Band: Sanity Control
Album: War On Life
Release date: August 2020

01. War On Life
02. Rope
03. Paying Is Believing
04. Good Dogs
05. Swarm
06. Hunt
07. Enough
08. Dying Order

Time to call a ceasefire in the war.

Two years into their existence, Sanity Control release their aptly-named full-length debut at a time when its name could be taken as a cognomen for the current state of the world; War On Life is a statement of intent for sure. While the band have youthful exuberance and a lo-fi charm, they run low on unique ideas and lean on their influences too much to stand on their own two feet.

While Poland isn't renowned for its thrash scene, it is an oft overlooked fertile ground that has produced more than its fair share of quality bands over the years; Sanity Control are one of the latest products to poke their heads out of the underground and onto a wider stage. War On Life is a good calling card to get people to notice the band but offers little in the way of a lasting impression.

With the structures, playing and production, the album is more indebted to crossover than thrash itself, leaning more on its hardcore influences than on a thrash aesthetic. The riffing is the most out-and-out thrash aspect of the album as they sound very indebted to Toxic Holocaust, with many of the songs like "Paying Is Believing" and "Swarm" for example sounding like demo versions of something Joel Grind would produce. It is not a crime to wear your influences on your sleeves but some divergence from the source material to insert your own personality is essential.

The album has a lo-fi charm that fits well with the band's hardcore leanings, sounding like it came out of the same era as many 80's US hardcore acts. While it is light on effects and little more than equalising, it does bring with it a sense of nostalgia and play to the band's raw enthusiasm evident through the album like on songs "Rope" and "Hunt".

Marcin's guitar work is hindered by not having a second player to add more weight in the guitar department, leaving tracks like "Enough" sounding thin where it could benefit from a more powerful six-stringed attack. While this usually falls on the bass player in one-guitar bands, Grzesiek's bass is not defined enough to impose itself beyond a barely audible rumble for much of the album, with tracks like "Dying Order" seeing his four-string conspicuously absent in the mix.

While War On Life should draw a few more eyes onto the band, going forward it should hopefully serve as a jumping-off point on which Sanity Control can build and perfect their own style in future. As it is, War On Life is a well-intended but poorly executed release that won't leave much of an impression beyond affirming that Joel Grind has had a bigger impact on the thrash scene than some are willing to credit him with.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 7


Written on 01.11.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 38 users
01.11.2020 - 21:36
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Polish thrash is dead, from mid 90's new bands come whit EP, full lenght and then, where are they? This band well can happen same. Good album reminds me few Norvegian thrashers as Tantara, Evoke, Inculter and few others.
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
02.11.2020 - 14:22
I remember covering these guys' demo for the CCs. Nothing mindblowing here, but I'm glad they came out with a full length.
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
02.11.2020 - 16:44
Mario Montes
That logo looks almost exactly like the Municipal Waste one.

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