When society goes through trying times, art has an increased potential to provoke and make people think. On the heels of their highly successful self-titled debut EP, Sonomaris prepare to release their sophomore effort, “Initium”, due out February 21 2020. On this record, the band “explores powerful topics including codependency, mass hysteria, being different and reemergence.” Sonomaris’ sound is hard to pin down. While you wouldn’t simply call their music metal or industrial, it matches the dark tone of those genres. Perhaps the biggest influence on their song writing is their progressive rock streak, and their willingness to throw out reductive, conventional song structures in favor of something more original.
‘Skeletons’, for example, opens the album with warm guitars and mellifluous vocals over a striding bass and caressing drumbeats lulling you into a false sense of security. Then a metal riff comes crashing in like an anvil, and the song rips into overdrive, before running full circle again.
The instrumental ‘Prepper’ leads us into the ‘The Fallen’ which begins with jangling guitars over intermittent cymbal embellishments, and then sidles into a driving, hypnotic, low-end guitar line with gritty sandpapered vocals powerfully squeezing its way through the mix and above the fluid harmonic backing.
When this band’s on, they serve up enough intensity and melody to level an entire city block. ‘Million’ builds up powerful heads of steam, with vocals that soar inexorably above the strumming guitars, but has the sense to let things down lightly with a cleaner sound, rather than cheapen what’s gone before with bone-crushing riffing hysterics.
On ‘Undone’ which comes after the ‘Aequor’ interlude, Tyrone Thompson’s spiked guitar lines cut their way into the rockslides of Rick Zaccaro’s drumming and Rick Trigueros’ pummeling basslines.
Swaying to the rhythm of this murderous mayhem, singer Jerry Gonzalez shouts, screams and sings his way through it all, to weave the track’s silver lining, showing how compelling modern rock artists can be in funneling their emotions and craft into making excellent music like this.
Thanks to the caliber of the line-up’s musicianship, and Sonomaris’ ability to write lyrics that don’t insult the intelligence of their audience, the gems on “Initium” keep on coming non-stop. It probably doesn’t have the singles required to crack the mainstream, but that’s not the point with Sonomaris, they’re on another level anyway.
This is some of the most engaging, and well-performed non-corporate rock music you’ll hear from any band this year. “Initium” is captivating, progressive, and atmospheric rock done right, with intelligent lyrics and ambitious themes.
It’s hard to deny the quality of these songs; all of them are excellent, and considering the band’s three-piece instrumentation, plus one lead singer setup, the beautiful noise coming from the sound system is pretty abundant.
in all, “Initium” is a mesmerizing recording accomplished by multiple standout tracks, musical maturity, and compelling stories. The immersive reality the music of Sonomaris delivers is astonishing. From a technical and vocal standpoint, this band caught me caught me totally off guard!