Bodies At The Frontier
Released August 2014
Canadians Sundecay play a kind of enlightened stoner doom that does not subscribe to norms. To call it progressive would be misleading, suggesting complexity and indulgence, but ‘Bodies At The Frontier’ certainly manages to be subtly different compared to what’s gone before.
You can see from clash between warped, almost black metal-ish band logo, bleak/spacey cover art and uber-cool Bandcamp pic that this is a band exploring its identity and scope. ‘Bodies At The Frontier’ is a book you cannot judge by its cover, even if you wanted to.
Musically, too, it is the clash of interests that makes this EP so interesting. There is a beautifully chaotic vibe, which is the sound of a bunch of guys jamming the hell out, and this is tempered with a dignified and smartly judged melancholy. It’s perhaps best exemplified by the third track, ‘Oxidized Urn’, which sounds like a mix of Welsh band Prosperina and vintage Sabbath.
Sundecay offer the tiniest hints of sludge and post-rock here and there, while there are also faint undercurrents of Smashing Pumpkins or Pearl Jam, particularly in some of the vocal delivery. The vocals, in fact, are sometimes sublime in their understated rocky majesty. There is a deep-rooted passion for 70s rock underpinning the sound, but it has been modernized and built upon to create something new.
The vibe feels slightly too loose on occasion, and the final song, ‘They Worship The Sun’ is a disappointingly aimless and blunt Deep Purple-inspired jangle.
But for much of this release’s 27-minute running time, Sundecay create an intriguing, pulsating doomy dreamworld, proving yet again doom metal’s ability to turn something simple into something ethereal and kind of wonderful.