Published Jul 01, 2005Bands like Mastodon and Keelhaul have been steadily perfecting catchy, sludge-driven rock derived from Entombeds influential heavy hitting grooves. Barely 12 months removed from their At A Loss Recordings debut, When White Becomes Black, SOTL have returned to challenge these megaliths for their dominance in the genre. With a freshly inked deal to Abacus and a reworked line-up, their latest effort proves itself worthy of its peers. Recorded with Kurt Ballou, the sound quality brings their attack to a new level, translating minute elements of bass-driven heaviness clearly. The improved sound suits the increased amount of diversity that is immediately noticeable. At the drop of a cymbal theyll randomly descend into punishing Southern grooves. They dwell in chugs, hammering notes into quick changes of time, unafraid to break down the breakdown. There is an increased focus on prolonged components and the record itself is a scathing 50 minutes. Their weakness is that are somewhat inadequate when it comes to building song structure, as their Neurosis-like melodies fail to tie them together into a cohesive unit. Theyre coming closer to perfecting a style akin to Mastodons complex and persistent rock, but without bringing back the hooks to reel you in. Regardless, based on the power with which this record proceeds, big things are in store for SOTL.
How did working with Kurt Ballou affect the production of this record? Drummer Chris Csar: Working with Kurt was a great experience. He worked his ass off to make it sound as sick as possible. He definitely captured the essence of SOTL. He went further then our own expectations into making it a very organic record. Kurt had a lot of input into each song by trying different musical ideas and experimenting with different sounds and equipment. Just listening to the album shows not only the art of the musicians, but also its recording engineer. He did an amazing job!
How do you see your sound evolving in the future? We've only had this new line-up really solid for about two months. So with all the switching around, we've been playing catch-up with the old material. Between full band rehearsals, Jamie and I will have writing sessions and then Pete and I another day. Just recently we presented each other with some new material. So we're just touching on the new sound. All I can say is that it is ridiculous; much more intense. Pete and I described it the other day as a "twisted circus of metal very demented, faster, darker, and a lot different from the other material. (At A Loss)