29 March 2006

I stayed up all night for this!

This record kicks ass. 'Nuff said.

Sin of Angels - From the Ashes
NotCommon Records
15 Nov 2005
4 stars

In early February my band got to open a gig for Brooklyn street-metal champs, Prowler, and a couple of touring bands from the Boston label NotCommon Records. The show, while fun to play, was not without its hiccups; with the somewhat typical scramble for extra mics and figuring out who was sharing what equipment with whom. However, in hindsight, the biggest hiccup of them all was the breakdown of a van carrying three men from Providence. At the time I had the, "shit, it sucks that that band can't make it, but at least we're not rushed for time anymore" attitude. Boy do I ever wanna take that back. Now that I've done my homework weeks later I know exactly what we all missed: a heavy dose of New England doom.

Doom? What? I must say that as a transplanted Masshole, I am ashamed of my lack of awareness of the sludge and doom scene in New England. I mean really, when Providence, RI is mentioned in the company of most of the music folks I know, bands like Lightning Bolt or Arab On Radar or Necronomitron immediately come up. Well folks, it's time to hop on the bandwagon, because there is some great stuff from the other end of the speed spectrum going on up there. Along with labelmates Conifer (who hail from Maine), Providence's Sin of Angels are putting out some high quality material.

From the Ashes, SoA's first full-length on NotCommon, clocks in just shy of 45 minutes and not a second of it should be missed. Slow, trudging chords become sludge rock riffage and turn back again carrying you away with each tempo shift. When the energy is just right a solo flies from the guitar as if set free by Loki just to stir up trouble. A lot of the doomier parts on this record are reminiscent of Neurosis, though with more pace: like they were channeling Sabbath. Overall this is a fantastic album that gets better with each listen. I'm dreadfully sorry that they never made it to Brooklyn that night, but I won't miss them next time. And before they come to crush your town, make sure you have this album.

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