Sannhet – So Numb (Profound Lore)

Monday, 11th September 2017
Rating: 8/10

“Go forth toward the –post.” That’s the direction we’d give formidable Brooklyn instrumental trio Sannhet, who, in entering their third full-length So Numb, had yet to climb over the difficult hurdle of being an above-average outfit to one of distinction. The band’s previous albums, in particular, 2015’s Revisionist, toyed perhaps a bit too much with black metal swells. It made them more extreme than they needed to be. In a matter of realization, Sannhet has expanded their sound while toning it down at the same time. The result is the lush, cosmic So Numb.

Ample argument may now exist that Sannhet aren’t even metal at all, their alliance with the marvelous Profound Lore notwithstanding. The guitar tone of John Refano is now several shades brighter, playing on the indie side of the fence, all the while employing colors and shapes that drift toward the post-rock, or, even post-metal realm. However, caustic opener “Indigo Illusion” gets things off on the right foot, providing an instant build-up and sudden climax in a single bound. “Sapphire” is driven by deft use of delay and effects, while the title track finds drummer Christopher Todd at his most busy, even, ahem, dropping in a blast-beat (or two).

The jangly drive of “Way Out” and “Sleep Well” are full of nuance and texture, enabling the listener to picture what the songs would be like if a Sir Gruff vocalist was out front, throwing the whole thing off. Then again, Sannhet, like any proper instrumental outfit, doesn’t need such bells and whistles now. So Numb is both affirming and heavy in its own manner, at last giving Sannhet a push toward something above and beyond.

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