"Parade of Sorrow"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Southern sludgemeisters Sons of Tonatius made a hell of an impact with their first self-titled debut a couple of years back...some of the angriest yet catchiest sludge to ever be committed to disc. Since then, the sludge movement has become a flood and many derivative groups are swamping the scene. How does the second SOT effort "Parade of Sorrow" stack up?

Pretty damn well. It's not quite as instant as the debut, but the band has held true to their sound. This is raw and gritty music, not polished up in the least, and the booming drum sound of Tim Genius rivals Des Kensel of High On Fire. The first couple tracks, "White Wall" and the title track, are good but sound like pretty typical sludge metal like we've heard before. With "Plastic Cell", though, things start to change up a bit and the music gets real interesting. This starts with what almost sounds like sludge gone grindcore...sure to loosen the neck muscles...and then slows down into a devastating doomy groove. The band doesn't conform at all to standard "verse-chorus-verse" and jams on a more instinctual level. "Colors Run Red" is the album epic, where the Sons throw in killer riffs at just about every tempo you can think of. "Season of Pills" is piledriving aggression that starts fast and ends up slow and chunky.

With "One by One", SOT actually throws almost pop catchiness into their songwriting. The guitar sound is warm and thick, but the riffing and vocals are more along the lines of Torche or early 90's noise-rock. In contrast with the previous tune, it speeds up instead of slows down at the end. "Seasick" has an awesome hammering riff that manages to mix the heaviest of sludge with more alt-rock feel while the album ends with two angry and more typical Eyehategod-ish sludge anthems, "Eye So Blind" and "Fallout", both full of feedback and tortured bellows and shrieks from Mike Caycedo.

I still like the debut a little better than this, but that record was one for the ages. This is an extremely potent follow-up that any fan of modern day angry sludge can invest in with confidence.