Sanhedrin is one of those bands that needs to be signed, that needs to be known, and it needs to be now. The blackened death metal troop was formed in 2009 in Huddersfield, England, by Reece Holloway (vocals, keyboards) and Parmahn Azad (guitar, bass, drums). The like-minded duo put together the tracks which would become the group’s first EP.
By 2010 the band had morphed into a full band with the addition of guitarist John Houghton and bassist Tom Blakemore, thus freeing Parmahn up to focus on drums and songwriting. That same year the band self-released it’s 11-track debut, Salvation Through Sin.
With the band more focused than ever in 2011, they self-released a new three song EP with the unwieldy name of And On Into The Eternal Nether…Of Forgotten And Stricken Souls.
The first track of the new EP, “And On Into The Eternal Nether”, is really the introduction to the centerpiece, “Of Forgotten And Stricken Souls”. The intro is awash in murky and haunting guitars and otherworldly spoken voice. About a minute and a half into this quasi-instrumental piece the guitars build and the clean guitar is woven in with the electric guitar work. In a way it reminds one of a more somber Iron Maiden vibe.
This takes us into the heart of the beast, which is the nearly 10-and-a-half minute crusher, “Of Forgotten And Stricken Souls”. Once again the guitars remind me of early Maiden, and I imagine this is what they might have sounded like had they ever chosen a blackened death metal path. This song is a huge as it is long. Filled with dark passages, sick vocal crevices, more spoken word, and stunning lead guitar solos, the band have created an epic track here. This song reaches up from the bowels of hell and clutches at your soul. Yet there is still plenty of melody soaked into the bleakness.
The EP’s final track, though less than two minutes in length is not an outro to the previous songs. This is a piano driven piece that feels like a sonic interpretation of a soul in limbo between death and its final resting place.
If this were not an EP, this would easily have made this year’s Best of List. It combines elements of both beauty and grimness in good proportion. Much like the city from which they hail, this is dark heady stuff.
Now they simply need a full album like this and a fucking record label!
The good news for you is that you can get your ears and hands on both the debut album and this EP, for FREE.