This is Progressive Death Metal with a modern slant – kind of like a more extreme Gojira; Gojira mixed with Morbid Angel would be a good starting descriptor.
The grooves and heavy rhythms are immediate and effective, but there is more than meets the eye here and subsequent spins reveal deeper layers to the songs.
The meaty guitars pummel and destroy and the production on this release is absolutely immense. With this recording they could be playing anything and they’d still demolish buildings. As it is, combined with these huge, monstrous riffs they seem to peel off with wild abandon, Sanzu sound unstoppable.
They have the songs to back this up though, otherwise it would be all sonic carnage but no longevity. Gojira have such a distinctive sound that it’s easy for any band that even comes close to their style to sound like a rip off; although Sanzu are clearly influenced by Gojira they avoid sounding too much like them due to the more aggressive delivery and the other Death Metal influences in Sanzu’s sound.
Well. Listening to this for the first time on a Sunday morning I can faithfully report that it blew all of the early-morning cobwebs away and left me feeling energised. This is an EP that bears repeated listens though, as the first time around it’s all too easy to get fixated on the colossal guitars and miss a lot of the other stuff that’s going on.
If this is just their début EP, what’s next for Sanzu? For their first album I hope for the same huge sound and a further development of their Progressive Metal side, while still keeping the Death Metal brutality. If they can pull this off then we may just have a modern masterpiece on our hands.
Until then we have Painless. It is enough. For now.
A must listen.