EP: Made Wrong ARTIST: Sanctum & Solace
Sometimes music can whisk you away from your worries and provide a temporary respite from existence; other times it can tear you a new one and make you face reality head-on with unrelenting fury. For Mackay's Sanctum & Solace and their brand new EP 'Made Wrong' it's a plentiful helping of the latter - but with some sparse moments of serenity that make it a cathartic trip across six tunes.
Straight up, this is not an EP for the faint-hearted, with brusque and gravelled vocals, gritty riffs and some pretty hefty themes (including toxic relationships and alcoholism). But if you can get past the oft-heavy barrage that peppers 'Made Wrong', you'll actually find a pretty solid and engaging offering, kicking the chaos off in style with 'Intro' and the delightfully irregular 'Slave', before delving into biting escapades battling addiction ('1096') and more than a few feedback soaked ragers ('Taedium Vitae', 'Social Suicide').
The moments of sedation that crop up on tracks like 'Slave' and 'The Keeper' give some much needed calm in an otherwise ferocious anthology, but while they give a reprieve from the blunt sonic force, they also pull focus on the gravity of themes this heaving quartet are laying down across these tracks. In fact, the moments of calm feel almost bittersweet and actually make peace with the darker facets of existence that are dealt with so earnestly across the EP.
Perhaps it's no surprise that 'Made Wrong', mixed and mastered by Gareth Hargreaves at Tall Trees Studio, used all live takes of the band in the studio, capturing the raw energy of the band's brutal energy on stage. And while it's not always an "easy" listen, 'Made Wrong' is a curiously engaging ride that somehow leaves you feeling somewhat uplifted (albeit battered) after the riffs roar off into the distance; a sensation that prompts firstly a huge, deep breath followed by an unwitting realisation that perhaps despite the angst and self-loathing and tribulations, there's a defiant beauty in existence and in expressing our collective chaos.
Ultimately, 'Made Wrong' is a hair-rasing opus of turbulence from a band who have been solidly pounding away in the heavy scene since 2013. It's savage, it's strudy and it's some serious hardcore fire. 'Made Wrong' is due out this Friday 23rd February, but in the meantime you can check out the lyric video for '1096' and more below:
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BY TIANA SPETER