I remember when Sannhet put out their debut album Known Flood, it was the year that Deafheaven had their breakthrough, manifesting the post-black metal as a new exciting genre. Sannhet fits perfect in that stream of bands that arrived as part of this new take on black metal.
With their latest album So Numb, Sannhet has quite a distance to this post-black metal sound, still keeping some of it intact though.
Indigo Illusion opens with tribal drums and distant guitars before heavy end bass dominates the foreground. The reverbed sound on the guitars reminds a lot of some 80/90’s goth bands. It’s an awesome simple melody on that guitar with only a few tonal changes slowly evolving to a more distinct high pitch melody.
It doesn’t sound like The Cure around 1980 but there’s somehow a feel in this song that reminds me of Pornography by The Cure. Sannhet is way heavier and post-rock, but still it really reminds me. I think it’s also something with the sound of the guitar that reminds me of these goth idols.
Sapphire continues down the same alley as Indigo Illusion, with an even more punishing upbeat rhythm and the distinct guitar melodies. Everything served with a high amount of melancholia. Towards the end, Sapphire intensifies with extra noisy guitars and excellent melodies.
Just 2 songs in, and I think this is quite good. I really enjoy that the songs so far are no more than 4-5 minutes long.
So Numb picks up with blastbeat like drums and again that haunting guitar melody in front. As close as you can get to a post-rock/post-metal radio hit. Very memorable.
Fernbeds slows down with echoing bass, cathedral guitars, faint swells and industrial drums. Everything builds up fark and slow, draping the listener in feedback, noisy layers and again those simple melodies, that makes So Numb, so easy to listen to. Fernbeds is the longest song on the album, almost double length of the other songs, but opens layer after layer of superb melodies and ear ripping walls of sound.
Salts have already been reviewed here.That end guitar in Salts, it reminds me so much of The Cure, excellent.
Way Out comes with that signature drums and bass run, that is around a lot of the time on the album. Again on this track, I hear references to old school cure or new order. Even though we have the roaring black metal like parts here, there are faint references to The Cure’s epic masterpiece Disintegration.
A piano sits in the middle on Secondary Arrows, surrounded by thousand meter wide echoing guitars, before the heavy end kicks in, the song mostly serves as an intro to the next song Sleep Well where darkness falls once again, with halftone driven melancholy and ripping guitar melodies. One of the other guitar arpeggio takes over giving a flood of infernal chaos.
Wind Up closes So Numb with chimes and bells, deep piano and then the swirling guitars in the background. It’s not what you would expect from an album closer, but it sums up fine what you have just been listening to. Ending the album with stereo tremolo piano standing alone really sums up good.
It might be unfair to compare So Numb, with Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, just because Peter Katis produced it, but nonetheless, I think that the sound on So Numb really reminds me of exactly that album. The same energetic drive with that post-punk guitar sound in the front is just totally Interpol. I don’t think Sannhet reminds me so much of Interpol, besides some of their goth like guitar sounds. Sannhet also reminds me a bit of Russian Circles, just not quite as heavy. Sannhet has been on a journey since their debut album, an album that lent a lot from black metal, over their second album the revisionist, that was way more metal.
Sannhet has arrived at something that is much more their own. I really enjoy that faint touch of 80’s and 90’s goth and new wave that is present on many of the songs. It fits the universe of Sannhet really good. Another major thing is, that So Numb is filled with excellent memorable songs. There is no weak songs or songs falling through. Every single anthem on the album is something you want to listen to more. In that way, Sannhet has made their best album so far, in my opinion. It’s not as brutal as former days, but the quality of the songs are just so much better.
Take a listen to So Numb here: