Sunnata play a form of doom metal that has ritualistic elements, manifesting in a tendency for repetition and hypnotic grooves. Despite this, the band know how to write a good tune, surprisingly so really; some of the material here is really infectious. This is due, in part, to influences that, to my ears, come from areas as diverse as grunge, alternative metal, sludge, stoner, and psychedelic rock, all of which are mixed into Sunnata’s brand of doom with great aplomb and obvious care and skill.
Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth is a textured album, with shades of light and heavy used to effectively build mood and atmosphere, and nuanced percussion and musicianship in general. The album is more diverse in scope than I was expecting, with a greater range of doom/stoner/sludge avenues explored, all while staying within the band’s creative framework. Each of the songs has its own personality and identity, and all are easily differentiated against their neighbours, despite sharing obvious common stylistic threads and themes.
The songs are captivating examples of how to produce mesmeric doom metal, while also having a wider appeal than that of many ostensibly similar bands. Sunnata’s gift is their ability to write songs that balance atmospheric soundscapes with a memorable catchiness that isn’t usually readily available within this sort of shamanistic style. It’s impressive, and extremely enjoyable.
Although this is my first exposure to Sunnata’s music, it sounds as if they have pushed themselves on their latest release. How much this is actually the case or not, it’s clear that they’re a talented bunch.
Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth is an extremely satisfying release that just gets better and better the more you listen to it. What a damn good album! Don’t miss this.