Review SANHEDRIN ‘Lights On’

One of the most exciting heavy metal albums this year comes from New York. Sanhedrin is the sender of this electrifying longplayer that is entitled ‘Lights On’.

The band doesn’t have a very long track record yet there is a lot to discover. Sanherdin, that’s Erica Stoltz (ex-Hammers Of Misfortune), Nathan Honor (ex-Vermefüg) and Jeremy Sosville (Black Anvil). The trio founded in 2015 and the self-titled demo created some interest. Being passionate about their music, the independently released debut ‘A Funeral for the World’ was unleashed in 2017. The album was the springboard for a deal with Cruz Del Sur who released the sophomore album ‘The Poisoner’.

After switching labels for another time, the third record comes via Metal Blade and ‘Lights On’ is the most mature release by the trio to date. While keeping the metal flame burning, Sanhedrin wrote and recorded songs that belong to the best traditional rooted metal has seen this year.

‘Lights On’ contains songs, approached in a way of the band following their heart. The only guidance for songs and album was if the trio was satisfied with what they created, and I think a lot of metalheads will agree with the statement that not only the power trio can be happy with the outcome.

Recorded and produced under unusual circumstances the trio found a way to collaborate in times of social distancing and since work on the album happened during the pandemic, the mood of time crawled into each of the songs.

The excellent opener ‘Correction’ is reflecting the said very well. The musical heavyweight, with its muscular riffing is a great way to start off an album. ‘Correction’ is a powerful statement of what this album is all about.

‘Lights On’ contains eight songs and no weak spot. With ‘Lost at Sea Final’, the second single release, ‘Lights On’ also features a real hit. The irresistible chorus is a magic moment of the album and one can’t get the chorus out of one’s mind.

The galloping ‘Scythian Women’ is another blast, lyrically focusing on an archeological find of four warriors in battle gear, all women. The album ends with a song called ‘Death is a Door’. The track is with seven minutes running time the longest one on the album. A calm and soulful start demonstrate that Sanhedrin have a wide musical range that doesn’t only need to rely on the loud riff assault. However, the latter is part of the closer too. After 1/3, guitars take over and the tune gains speed. Equipped with a well-crafted solo part ‘Death is a Door’ is an excellent way to end an album that is strong as a rock.

‘Lights On’ is a shining moment in the endless flow of new releases. Committed, focused and with an excellent musical toolkit at hand, Sanhedrin made a big next step forward. Not being misguided by trends and commerciality, the Brooklyn-based trio follows their metallic heartbeat, manifested on ‘Lights On’. This album is real and has the wow-effect.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Correction
  2. Lights On
  3. Lost at Sea
  4. Change Takes Forever
  5. Code Blue
  6. Scythian Woman
  7. Hero’s End
  8. Death is a Door

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 4th, 2022

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Photo: Suzanne E. Abramason

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