Friday 1 April 2016

Sunnata - Zorya (Album Review)

Release date: April 11th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Zorya – Tracklisting

1.Beasts of prey
3.Long gone
4.New horizon
5.Again and against

Band Members

Szy – Vocals
Gad – Guitars
Dob – Bass
Rob – Drums


Sunnata return with their new album Zorya. Almost two years after their debut album that received some minor acclaim within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community. Has anything changed since their debut album? Yeah, I think they’re sound has changed quite a bit as Sunnata have opted for a more progressive doom/stoner metal sound with subtle sludge vibes adding a more menacing approach.

Opening track – Beasts Of Prey – sees Sunnata opting for a heavy doom approach to their music that fans of Monolord will enjoy. The band then adds a more psychedelic desert rock vibe near the middle of the song but drowned out by heavier sludge based sounds. It’s an intriguing concept and the vocals add a superb progressive feel. A word of warning, this song runs for twelve minutes or so and the rest of the songs run about the same amount of time. So don’t go expecting short style songs as Sunnata create epic and highly intelligent soundscapes to lose yourself in.

Second track – Zorya – is more of a grunge driven number that owes a huge debt to Alice In Chains in both terms of structure of the song and with the vocals. Sunnata add a more sombre doomy atmosphere to keep the riffs somewhat fresh. Zorya perhaps gives you best impression of what Sunnata are really about, musically and lyrically as they create the albums standout track.

Third track – Long Gone – starts very slowly before Sunnata add different layers of noise. Firstly with the guitars and then the drums appear with Sunnata then creating the most direct sounding Sludge/Stoner Metal song on the album. I can detect a slight industrial rock/metal sound that allows Sunnata to fully experiment with their sound. The hazy psychedelic vocals add a doom and gloom feel to the album.

Fourth track – Long Horizon – sees Sunnata finally becoming a lot more at ease with their industrial rock/metal sounds. Though that doesn’t stop the band play some of the heaviest doom/sludge metal riffs on the album. It’s a very slow paced affair and that’s a good thing as this creates a very bleak mood for the band to further enhance their sound. This is perhaps the most progressive song on the album and one listeners will probably enjoy the most.

Last but by no means least is – Again And Against. Another ten minute epic that has more a chaotic almost nightmarish feel compared to the other songs on the album. Shades of Godflesh and NIN industrial sounds appear and it ends the album on quite a depressing note and I applaud the band for making that decision. They could have ended the album with a more upbeat song but that would undo all the hard work the band have put in creating this excellent album.

Sunnata have created something very different from their debut album and that should be applauded. They could of played it safe and released – Climbing The Colossus Part Two, but nope. Sunnata have released something far more brave and it’s a better album as a result. Zorya is a stunning and complex sounding album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Zorya will be available to buy on CD/DD from April 11th 2016.