Album Review: Sarin - You Can't Go Back
Reviewed by Dan Barnes
The thirty-five minute running time of You Can’t Go Back, the third album from Toronto-based four-piece, Sarin, is something of an anomaly in the realm of Post-Metal in that many other genre albums are only just hitting their stride by the time Sarin are winding up.
But, what the album lacks in duration it more than compensates in the emotion department. Throughout the six tracks on You Can’t Go Back there is a constant playing off of light and shade, of moments of uplifting joy acting against the crushing weight of despair.
Each of the half dozen songs presented here are meditations on the human condition and the need to move forward, regardless of how painful that might be. Sarin lay this out through thick, plodding, almost sludgy, riffs which form the basis of the album. Infrequently used vocals are gruff and growl over waves of musical passion; those passages of delicate refrain at the heart of nearly every track offer an eye to the hurricane.
Sarin’s use of musical variation across You Can’t Go Back creates a constantly compelling listen; whether that be the immediate, in-you-face opener Cold Open or the illustrative guitar-lines of Reckoner, complete with haunting, screaming reverb, this is an album that rewards frequent revisits.
To hear Thick Mire’s militaristic chugging riff break into something akin to a 1980s tune then be greeted by the light, poppy ambience of Otherness is somewhat disconcerting, but something that draws you back to hear those combinations again and again.
In turns crushing, emotional, inspirational and even therapeutic, Sarin have demonstrated that quality will always triumph over quantity.