Live Before You DieHardSound 2009
Young bands that don't use constant screaming vocals are few and far between here in the UK, so when I read the promo sheet for Sondura and popped it in my player, I was pleasantly surprised as the first song started to play. There wasn't a scream in sight and I hoped this would continue for the duration of the album and I wasn't disappointed thankfully - no screams to be heard anywhere well apart from the odd line here and there, but I can live with it.
Sondura is a young band led by the Watson bros, Tom (vocals) and Jack (Guitars), ably assisted by Steve Dillon (bass) and Fred Green (Drums). The London based four-piece peddle hard hitting modern melodic metal with edgy lyrics and vocals their forte. Tom's vocals have some resemblance to Chad Kroeger of Nickelback fame although not quite a distinctive. The music is like a mix between Nickleback/Alter Bridge and of course a touch of modern Metallica crunch and some of the more emo styled young melodic bands of today such as Funeral for a Friend etc.
Their debut effort is produced well, with balanced and adeptly structured compositions with distinct verse-bridge-chorus-verse songwriting ready made for hit status. However the production whilst good still leaves room for improvement. It sounds clean and heavy enough but lacks the sheen or polish of some of the bigger bands in this genre. Not to say that it lacks power cause the boys can pack a punch both musically and vocally speaking. There are some crunching midpaced riffs on display that shake the bones when played at high volume.
Songs are based around meaty melodic riffs, interspersed with acoustic embellishments and guitar hero level lead work, although I'm sure the band would be the first to admit they are hardly going to challenge the top shredders in metal today, but they make a decent stab at it nevertheless. It's all about the songwriting with Sondura and for this they should be commended. Unfortunately the promo sheet doesn't contain the tracklist and Google wasn't forthcoming either so I cannot say which tracks I liked best via titles. However near enough all the tracks were blessed with a decent hooky melody to latch on to without really reaching goose pimple status. Some songs were heavier and some were more atmospheric and allowed the band to build their songs up to a rousing cresecendo, quite similar to how Alter Bridge do on their records. In fact the band tries to follow in the footsteps of that great band without quite attaining that soaring level of songwriting but nevertheless not a bad effort at all.
Given time they can progress on to something real special, as they show a lot of potential on this debut. It's a little rough around the edges as already stated, however the band is already on a level not to be sniffed at all. They just need to keep working on the songs and vocals and the follow up should be something special hopefully. Good job lads!
© Pirage Forsi
Rating *** (3.0/5.0) Download @ Amazon