SERTRALINE – FROM BOTH OUR HANDS

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.hypnoticdirgerecords.com/
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://hypnoticdirgerecords.bandcamp.com/album/from-both-our-hands-2
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/sertralineusa

Band Line-up

Tom Muehlbauer
Jay Zgoda
Shelly Muehlbauer
Dave Lopian
Ken Cult
Jason Roman

 

Tracklisting:

1. Hounds of Avarice
2. The Knowledge of Trees
3. Entwined

 

 

 

 

Review:

US Post Black metal band Sertraline (generic term for an anti-depressant Zoloft) brings a big dose of heavy riffs mixed with some melancholy, depressive vocals and tones throughout their EP. Most of the members originate from the band ‘Where She Wept’ and includes 3 guitarists cohesively playing together with a blend of black metal and melodic riffing. They describe themselves as follows:

“Sertraline is the most aurally decadent post-black metal band to hit the scene in the last few years. Their impact comes primarily from a combination of melodic saturation and individual expertise.”

This group from Buffalo New York are skillful musicians and while I am not really a big fan of post black metal this EP was rather enjoyable to listen to.

Their opening track ‘Hounds of Avarice’ starts ominous and fuzzy. It’s very atmospheric which grabbed my attention. I do enjoy a bit of atmospheric black metal. The first track does have a great black metal sound and that extends into the second track, though the drumming is more technical and not about blast beats but a very pleasant cadence and rhythm. The second track does not have so much atmosphere as the first. At times it feels like it can be a little repetitive especially the guitar riffs which stay the same until they fade away at the end of the song.

Track 3 ‘Entwined’ is a fitting title. The song elements feel entwined as they weave between hypnotic and atmospheric sounds mixed with groovy bass lines and beats. Vocals change between guttural and clean to nearly spoken word. The heavy moments are intertwined with technical and progressive play styles. They play with each other and, as the song nears its climatic end, the heaviness culminates in a swift and satisfying ending. It’s a great song for being over 7 minutes long and it does not feel too long. Sometimes even short songs can sound too repetitive so when you can make a longer song feel short and enjoyable its definitely noteworthy in music writing.

If anything this EP leaves you wanting more. That’s how a good EP should be. It should make you excited for the next big thing and I will keep a look out for their next full length album while, at the same time, I will be listening to their older material including from the aforementioned band ‘Where She Wept’. So I give them a 4 out of 5. The album is well written and performed. It offers a variety of sounds that are cohesive and not chaotic. Its pleasant to listen to and I recommend giving them a listen.

Reviewed by Cathrine Wendt
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