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Sannhet > Revisionist > Reviews > Insin
Sannhet - Revisionist

Not quite reaching their full potential - 70%

Insin, December 21st, 2015

The second album by Brooklyn-based trio Sannhet sees them continuing to explore the niche of instrumental post-metal they had already found for themselves on their first full-length release. Revisionist secures Sannhet’s promising sound, but exposes their weak songwriting.

With hints of both black and sludge metal, Sannhet’s music is dense and fearful, a mood that they balance with a brighter, more accessible brand of post-metal that is the album’s secondary sound, often switching effortlessly between the two styles within the same song, or finding a midpoint between them. The darker parts tend to lapse into blast beats, the guitar whining uneasily as the bass creates a murky backdrop, until it lets up into flowing post-metal territory with a clean guitar forging the path ahead. Revisionist changes very easily and frequently from oppressively apprehensive, to lamenting and miserable, to the rare uplifting section.

While this variation in mood is a good premise on which the band has based their music, unfortunately, there isn’t really any other appeal to Revisionist. Not to mention it suffers from the flaw of dozens of other post-rock and post-metal bands – it does not necessarily jump out at the listener, hard to notice unless one focuses on it. Like most post-metal, it has its ebb and flow, but whatever evolution that exists is subtle and restrained as it relies primarily on its atmosphere to carry it through, something that is not quite enough, while disregarding songwriting. The short lengths of these tracks betray that there is not enough time for much to happen, that they do not have the momentum to build up to a peak, or even possess the dynamics necessary for good post-metal, or a good song in general. On top of that, all of the pieces sound more or less the same, dragging out the experience towards the end, and none are particularly memorable. I’ve listened to this album at least five times and I can recall approximately two riffs.

Revisionist is not unpleasant but not particularly good, either. Sannhet has an interesting foundation for their sound but it would seem that they aren’t reaching their full potential. The atmosphere created by their fearful density coupled with the lighter post-metal has a lot of promise, but the songwriting of Revisionist is mediocre and unexciting. Nevertheless this is an album that makes me look forward to Sannhet’s next output; they might be able to do great things in the future.