Sanzu – Heavy over the Home (Review)

SanzuThis is the début album from Australian Modern Progressive Death Metallers Sanzu.

We’ve met Sanzu’s Gojira/Morbid Angel-inspired work before on their Painless EP, where they proved themselves to be an energetic and highly-promising addition to the world of Extreme Metal.

On Heavy over the Home Sanzu continue to develop their influences into something even more personable than previously. Although you can still readily identify the Gojira in their sound, for example, they’ve taken ownership of this even more than on their EP and Heavy over the Home is a force to be reckoned with.

It’s also a heavy force, as I suspect this word is used deliberately in the album title. Sanzu do heavy very well indeed. It’s hard to do your own thing when heavily influenced, (pun intended…), by such a recognisably distinctive band such as Gojira, but Sanzu have risen to the challenge by embracing their Morbid Angel-esque Death Metal side even further on this release, meaning that we end up with a kind of Gojira-gone-Death-Metal sort of album. This accomplishes two things; it allows the band to go their own way and make their sound much more their own, and also it sounds absolutely great.

Twisting, rolling rhythms and punishing grooves seem to trample and flatten from above, and the band’s melodic sensibilities, developed though they are, seem utterly incapable of blunting this crushing heaviosity. We wouldn’t have it any other way, of course.

The 45 minutes of music on this album allow the band to spread their wings and develop much further than on their first EP, and it’s very pleasing to see Sanzu metamorphosing into something more than their influences, something they can be proud to call their own.

In an utterly crushing display of super-heavy Death Metal, Sanzu destroy the opposition with ease and leave us with a top-quality album to enjoy in the smouldering ruins of what came before.

I’ll be playing this on heavy rotation from now on, that’s for sure. I advise you do too.

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Sanzu – Painless (Review)

SanzuSanzu are an Australian Death Metal band and this is their début EP.

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.