Soden are a three-piece instrumental band from Worcester who play dark, low and slow music that gradually increases in its ferocity. A kind of heavy metal post-rock, if you will. Onwards...Toward The Tundra is the band’s second album. It follows their 2017 album Led By Foxes. It was recorded by Slabdragger guitarist and singer, Sam Thredder.
Limited Vinyl LP £15.49 DFR 006
LP on Dirty Filthy Records. Limited to 250 copies on 140g ‘Mr Blue Sky’ transparent vinyl with insert.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
- Only 2 copies left
It’s rare we reach a collective office agreement on music we dig here at Norman, and it’s even rarer that we’ll agree we like a piece of music from niche and heavy subgenres. In this case, we dug a record of brooding instrumental post-metal, a much heavier strain of post-rock. Soden’s second album ‘Onwards... Towards The Tundra’ boasts healthy amounts of innovation in a subgenre which often relies on pastiche, an over-reliance on crescendos, or “crushing dynamics”. The Worcester three-piece instead opt for slow-burning pieces which display their great ear for composition and tension building. This restraint paired with influences from slowcore, psychedelia and shoegaze lend a chilling, wintery atmosphere to the record, making for an absorbing and evocative listen.
Soden make up for their absence of vocals with impressive instrumental performances. The guitar wails like a banshee with its improvised shoegaze howl, mimics Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s forlorn string pieces, and basks in Mogwai-esque feedback sketches. The drums flip between intricate and jazzy snare work and loose yet hard-hitting fills. Often, the pitter-patter percussion descends like falling snow, cementing the haunting ambience suggestive of a snow-blind landscape. The bass playing is great too, tuned super low and offering a decelerating sensation. Singular bass chords provide menacing echoes to ‘Antarctica Lay Before Us’, whilst it grumbles and groans through the heavy parts of ‘Towards The Tundra’.
Fans of post-metal, post-rock and stoner, sludge, doom and the harder side of shoegaze will find a lot to love here on ‘Onwards... Towards The Tundra’. Of course, acts like Pelican and Russian Circles are clear influences on the group, but they hint at their love of Slint, Helms Alee, Cave In, Loop and My Bloody Valentine in many a moment here. I can’t wait until the Leeds and Liverpool canal freezes over so I can give this a spin on my post-work journey home.
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