Saturday 4 May 2024

SUNNATA - Chasing Shadows (Album Review)

Release Date: May 10th 2024. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Chasing Shadows - Tracklisting



3.At Dusk (Interlude)


5.Saviour's Raft

6.Adrift (Reprise)

7.The Tide


9.Through the Abyss (Interlude)

10.The Sleeper

11.Like cogs in a wheel, we're trapped between waves of distorted time


Chasing Shadows is the fifth full length record from visionary Doom/Stoner Metallers SUNNATA which is also their most complex and longest album to date. Combining their familiar Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal sounds with a mind-expanding COSMIC trajectory with harsh Droned textures elevating their music to greater heights. The mixture of Grunge, Post-Metal, Prog Metal and Ambient rhythms allows SUNNATA to play some of their most powerful sounds they’ve released to date.

The songs are all intricate pieces or chapters of a complex story with SUNNATA drawing upon sludgy progressive grooves and ambient based metal with the complex Psychedelic structures with a seedy Grunge based environment which bursts into life on the exquisite opening track of Chimera. A pulsating eight minute number with shamanic vocals and trippy musical sounds that sees SUNNATA having a more GLOOMIER appetite compared to their 2021 release Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth which is my favourite SUNNATA album to date with this album a close second. The song is one of the most intelligent slices of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal I’ve heard recently with the ethereal vocals and intense lyrics preparing you for what is to come the whole album.

Second song Torn opts for a classic Grunge aesthetic for the most part before SUNNATA drift into the Post-Rock abyss with swirling Sludgy guitars giving the track extra weight in the volume department on certain stages of the track. The vocals are excellent with different melodic and clean styles appearing which gives a more emotional feel to the whole album. 

Third track At Dusk (Interlude) is an Ambient/Psychedelic instrumental number with moments of solitary guitars and deep meaningful synths which is quite solitary and cautionary at the same time. A song with meaning and purpose that becomes quite haunting within its short two minute runtime. 

Fourth track Wishbone is a more experimental offering from SUNNATA with the Middle Eastern sounds and 80’s Electro tinged guitars that open the song. The vocals have a certain Lou Reed premise to them with SUNNATA exploring a Gothic/Alt-Rock diversion before the obsessive Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds appear and propel this track to become one of the standout songs on the whole album. The GRUNGE atmospherics allows the SEEDY instrumental sounds to become more warped and quite volatile with the jagged moments of the track.

Fifth track Saviours Raft is a trippy and mind-expanding affair with flashes of Post-Rock, Doom and Alt-Metal sounds converging for another one of the albums defining tracks. The music is HEAVY and PROGRESSIVE with a fantastic stop/start instrumental movement being played in the background which allows SUNNATA to subdued and brilliantly heavy at the same time especially when the sludgy extended and droned out riffs appear.

Sixth track Adrift (Reprise) feels like a continuation of the third track At Dusk (Interlude) with added vocals appearing. Taking a stance inspired by TOOL, this is another thrilling short offering from SUNNATA that has fantastic vocals throughout.

The second half of the album sees SUNNATA change musical and creative direction yet again with a Progressive attitude building into extended WEEDIAN rhythms and some intense vocal passages on tracks such as The Tide, Hunger, The Sleeper and Like cogs in a wheel, we're trapped between waves of distorted time. This part of the album is the most emotionally charged with SUNNATA switching between Atmospheric Doom, Psych Stoner Metal and Ambient Post-Rock with the most beautiful sounding parts coming from songs The Tide and Hunger which left me wanting to hear of this great style of music from the band.

Chasing Shadows is quite the trip full of vivid musical energy that we come to expect from SUNNATA. As I said earlier in my review, their previous album is my favourite record of years. However, this is still a first rate album from SUNNATA who are vastly becoming one of the most outstanding creative entities within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Hold Tight PR for the promo.

Chasing Shadows will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Friday 10th May 2024.


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