To Possess You Entirely by SonanceRelease date: November 30, 2018
Label: Truthseeker Music
Horror is one of the stranger genres of film as viewers enter into it knowing they will be made to feel uncomfortable. They are aware that there are moments they won’t be expecting yet the rush keeps people going back. Those same thrills and tribulations explode from the latest effort from Bristol based Sonance. To Possess You Entirely has all the hallmarks of great horror from the cover to the atmospheric, sludgy post-metal with slashes of doom flooding out of five tracks over 40 minutes. A real emotion bender as light and dark conflict in a unique, beautifully coherent release that may well be the best by Sonance to date.
There is a fine line to tread between creating an atmosphere and still delivering coherent material and Sonance nails it perfectly here. The combination of guitar, bass and drums is joined by piano, moog, violin and cello over the course of the album which allows for a sonic expansion of the soundscape and also the heaviness. Even during the monstrous 19 minute opener, ‘Manipulation Domination Control’, Sonance never loses focus and as a listener I never lost the path it guided me down. Early moments of unnerving calm are shattered by fierce thunder driven by vocals that sound like the result of torture. An ambient stretch leads into a determined screamed monologue which picks up the rhythm as its short line delivery spikes the drums into action. Like two drunks at karaoke fighting over a microphone, the eerie ambience and pounding heaviness roll over each other to have their moments of attention as the track stretches to a conclusion that appears quicker than the time suggests.
The stand out track for me is ‘A Beacon of Hope in This Desolate Hole’. Even if you don’t feel you are in a desolate hole this song takes you there and then builds a ladder for you to climb free. The vocal display is again outstanding and envelopes you in the desolation to create a real sense of space and isolation. The guitars spiral and thrust behind a solid drum display as the band arches to the plateau of safety. At either side of this song are two quieter tracks, the title track and ‘Spirit Wife’. These contain flowing strings and piano and cleanse the palate after the abrasive ‘I Thirst’ and give a brief reprise from the menacing gloom.
Everything adds up to make this the best release by Sonance. From the beautifully crisp and clean production, through to the stunning vocal display and the clarity of the instrumentation. These factors enable the songs to reach their full expanse and flow with such an ease whilst remaining slightly terrifying from the first listen. This has it all from crushing heaviness to bleak ambience. For 40 minutes you really will be possessed entirely, no matter how much you try to resist.