Sanzu – Heavy Over The Home (Album Review)

This type of band can only exist somewhere between the realms of reality and the realms of sheer madness. From the first listen, Sanzu is attempting to open a wormhole inside your head. Initially, it is an intense mixture of black metal, djent and doom, though that is just loose stereotyping. The myriad of sounds this band has to offer is numerous and at the same time, they have concocted a very unique and singular tone with this album. Their aggression and raw playing power immediately place the listener on edge, the vocals spitting out over a concussive rhythm walled in by massive guitars and weighed down by a massive wash of bass only a long-dead race of alien giants could conceive.

The men behind the strings create an impenetrable and imposing sound with a very tight sense of delivery. The bass creates an extremely strong & decisive core to the tracks, nailing the songs down with a consistent and relentless flow. The drums are absolutely pounding and have a great live ambience, every hammer-handed hit an uppercut to the lobes. The vocals on this album are aggressive and menacing, both diverse and focused, carving their way through the elephantine sound the band creates, like a knife through flesh.

Sometimes sludgy, sometimes grinding forward like a menacing enforcer, this album strides forth continuously like some sort of ancient giant in search of its’ next meal. Each track on this monster of a release, from ‘Old Orchid Floor‘ to ‘Colourblind‘ confidently displays its own unique flavour and style within the album as a whole. The final ambient strains of guitar awash in a sea of eerie, synthetic layers is a great closer to this absolutely crushing collection of songs. There are, of course, some stand-out tracks in the album – the inescapable concrete riffage of ‘Ubiety‘ enthralls & commands the listener to bang their head & commune with ancient stone monoliths, the title track ‘Heavy Over the Home‘ comes writhing out of the speakers like a great Sandworm greeting a Martian dawn.

The recording and audio mix on this album is definitely worth a mention too. Every instrument has been worked into the mix seamlessly, each providing an anchor to the other. This album is violent, heavy and ultimately cataclysmic in its’ delivery with a vast range of tones on display, yet retains a firm grounding in the tenets of doom and sludge metal.

Presented like an extreme sludge band, this recording breaks through the boundaries of a style ridden with a clutter of Sabbath/Electric Wizard/Acid King clones and re-introduces the listener to HEAVY music in its entirety. It incorporates an almost dreamscape-like vibe throughout, though at many moments it is nothing short of a sonic, nightmare-inducing torment on the aural senses. I was extremely impressed with this album & would like to hear more of it.

In short, Sanzu is a heavy metal band in every sense of the description of the genre itself. Yet another great Australian band emerging from the sun-bleached, wind-blasted western shores. Excellent.
5 Giant Roos heads for this great beast.

Sanzu: Facebook

Release Year: 2015
Label: Listenable Records
Category: Album
Country: Australia

Reviewed by Black Jack