Digging underneath Sarin's metaphorical landslide - You Can't Go Back can be a purposefully challenging, but equally rewarding endeavour. Post-metal's greatest triumphs are often discovered when the deeper undertones of whatever concept is being dictated are unlocked through forensic analysis, as opposed to being directly blurted out.
It's fair to say then, that You Can't Go Back makes a pensive request for you to uncover its narrative. A story of self-reflection in the midst of chaos - Sarin have penned a record that speaks of importance while peering into the looking glass. Its six tracks vary their tenacity, but often manage to read the room well.
'Cold Open' lives up to its namesake. Greeting you into You Cant Go Back's withered arms with a mid tempo riff you could find almost anywhere across metal's spectrum, there's a precise ambience that follows David Wilson's dark vocal attack that continues to leer throughout its run.
Proceedings remain equally unpredictable from here on out. 'When You Melt' features the kind of drum patterns from Aleks Hara that you'd expect from Animals As Leaders, while 'Thick Mire' retains all the industrial front of Rammstein.
Though it's the shortest song on the record, 'Otherness' provides a fitting summary of what You Can't Go Back actually is. Trying to balance its weight between humble prog rock and melodic metal, its transition between extremes is sudden. And that's where this record thrives, Sarin often leave themselves open to your interpretation before changing tact swiftly.
Too obtuse for some? Possibly, but You Can't Go Back is a rewarding listen nonetheless. Instrumental purists are likely to have a field day, while post-metal fanatics in general will occasionally stargaze at how slickly Sarin are able to change the atmosphere throughout this records 35 minute run time. Uncovering this album's nuances is a demanding, yet worthwhile effort.
You Can't Go Back is released February 5th via Prosthetic Records.
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