TITLE: BROKEN IN REFRACTION
LABEL: PURE NOISE RECORDS
WORDS: JACK MOBLEY
The hardcore and metal-core scene is draped in quality as of 2019 and Long Island outfit, Sanction have their hat firmly tossed into the ring alongside their peers. The meld of hardcore energy and raw production with a crunching heavy style has turned heads in all areas of the scene. New album, ‘Broken In Refraction’, builds on the efforts from the debut EP, ‘Infringement on God’s Plan’, by continuing their philosophy of head-banging hardcore.
Sanction’s brand of stomping riffs conjoined with earth-shattering breakdowns spliced with angular guitars keeps the listener on their toes before being hit in the face repeatedly with another breakdown or riff. This whirlwind of an album is not for the progressive connoisseur or one who craves melody in their music, rather a collection of rage filled songs that are dark and filled with malevolence. Although it’s executed to a high standard, the nature of this music does get repetitive and can be quite one dimensional at times.
“a collection of rage filled songs that are dark and filled with malevolence”
The opening third of the record seems to fly by (like the entire album) but it’s only when lead single, ‘Radical Lacerations’ kicks in that the true quality of the band is showcased. The panic-ridden riff is frantic and unsettling which creates and builds an atmosphere that serves the aesthetic greatly. Up until this point the songs are are built around on main riff and one breakdown but the lead has time to explore other areas, when the groove hits the song comes to life rather than a soundbite that lasts less than two minutes. The record gets going from here with tracks leading into one another. However the one dimensional aspect does continually pop up with the shorter tracks.
The flurry of tunes, ‘Conscious In Coma’ successfully slows the tempo and delivers a gut wrenching bridge that screams emotion if nothing else. While the next two tracks seem almost identical in their composition and tone: riff, frantic screaming followed by a song-ending breakdown albeit at a good standard. The final full song and longest track, clocking in at 3 minutes 19 seconds, ‘Shattering Man’ sees Sanction pump the energy and into a final effort. With multiple face-beating riffs and breakdowns, the band try their best to incorporate as many elements as possible with sound bites and never-ending rolling drums to keep the track pounding while the guitars chug in their very un-nerving way. The final reprise ‘Creation…’ simply closes out the record with static and travel noise.
“The riffs, breakdowns and brutal vocals come together in a simple yet effective way”
Sanction know what they are good at and aren’t afraid to shout about it. Taking the integral and fundamental parts of what makes a hardcore band great and cranking it up to 11. ‘Broken In Refraction’ is not a complex record that will take multiple listens to decipher but rather an instantaneous piece of work.
The riffs, breakdowns and brutal vocals come together in a simple yet effective way with the band rarely stepping out of that comfort zone. The length and simplicity of the record’s nature both works and hinders the band; the quality of what they do is high but the lack of depth can leave you underwhelmed at times and yearning for more.