Sundecay is a progressive doom band based in Toronto, Canada. While rooted in the classic sounds of proto-doomsters like Pentagram, St. Vitus and of course Black Sabbath there are hints of proto-metal influencers like Dust and High Tide. The band is preparing to self-release their 4 track EP ‘Gale’ on November 30th. The Canadian quartet is made up of Mark Chandler and Brian Scott on guitar. Brian also is the artist behind the cover art for ‘Gale’. Derek Hoffman on bass, engineer and mixer, Julian Vardy on drums and Rich Pauptit on providing the vocals. The band has a DIY approach that keeps everything in house and thus keeps their vision for ‘Gale’ streamlined, and I believe that has a great deal to do with the success of this EP. Sundecay’s heaviest moments often shift away from genre conventions, much like Pallbearer, Monolord, and many “post-metal” offerings in recent years. Though the band is in the realm of proto-doom and doom they aren’t really bound by any genre and often straddle the lines on various other genres.
“Heavy Motions” gets the album started with a slow creeping entrance as the riffs are drawn out and until everything kicks in at once. The vocals are soothing and sang in this stern deep tone. The track certainly has doom elements but its more polished and slightly up tempo in comparison to most traditional doom. Sundecay also incorporates a instrumental section within the song that allows the riffs to change things up before reverting back to those somber tones. The lyrical content is deep and passionate and the way in which Pauptit sings brings it to life. There are moments where the song has elements of groove and the riffs become more playful to help breakup things up and keep the over 7 minute song from being repetitive. With this track alone you could make comparisons to Katatonia and Paradise Lost in regards to the bands sound. While there are some similarities make no mistake that Sundecay is unique and is no carbon copy of anything you’ve heard before. “From Corners” is the shortest and most up-tempo song on the EP. The riffs are sharp and the driving force in the track. The vocals still have that deep baritone sound but they are slightly different in comparison to the opening track, which may be that the vocals seem to have more volume here. Just like the opening track the band has an instrumental section within this short track. The doom influence is absent in “From Corners” and it carries much more of a hard rock vibe. “The Land That Never Thaws” is the longest of the 4 tracks on this EP coming in at just shy of 12 minutes. The first minute and a half of the song is two varying minimalist guitar riffs by Mark Chandler and Brian Scott. Then all of a sudden its as if they just plugged in the amp and the entire band kicks things into gear. Taking nothing away from the instrumentals in this track at all but the star of this song is the vocals. Pauptit’s voice is so deep and stern it just demands your attention. The doom influence is welcomed back into the fold but not in regards to the music, the doom sound is mainly within the vocal approach of the song. His pitch stays around the same never hitting any higher notes but nailing that somber deep tone. Vocals with this deep of a tone aren’t common and I don’t believe I’ve heard anything this stellar since Peter Steele of Type O Negative. The guitar riffs have this mesmerizing seductiveness to them that keeps you wanting more. While the drums sometimes aren’t in the spotlight in “”The Land That Never Thaws” they are the backbone to its success. The subtle beats and flawless timing of the bass drumming by Julian Vardy keeps everything in rhythm. Composing a song of this length is no easy task. The additional time sometimes leads to repeating lyrics, riffs, and beats or even forcing things together that don’t pair well. The song has a natural progression that is raw and imaginative.
Sundecay have certainly impressed me with this EP. They have created much more than music with this EP, it has an artistic feel that drives home a somber emotional vibe. There are moments within the record that are hushed and quiet and not flooded with noise. The vocals are deep and keep your attention like metal to a magnet. Most of all the elements of doom are prevalent and they worship the riff and allow it to shine in all its glory. Pick this EP up when it releases or pre-order it here now on vinyl or digital download, it will alter your mood and bring chills to your spine.