LOW SONIC DRIFT (Shadows Of The Titan) CD
This is the debut album from an almost unknown Scottish band which deserves greater attention. One reason for this is that LOW SONIC DRIFT (please note initial letters) are capable to create a multi-facetted heavy blend. In particular, the ethnic influences guarantee a trippy ambience, but even the ones who are in seach of heavy riffage and weighty grooves don't have to miss out. The first track 'Sun Doesn't Rise', is a good example for an effective combination of both components. After a fulminant middle eastern sounding-introduction with additional violin and guitar, it morphs into a fest of great groove laden riffs. There are a lot variations regarding tempo changes, but LOW SONIC DRIFT keeps things catchy with pop-infected vocal lines that would be very suitable for any britpop band.
However, the vocals are the weakest link in the chain, at least for my taste. It would be nice if guitarist Ramo would use a more powerful style, but fortunately most of the time the songs are dominated by instrumental passages. During such moments LOW SONIC DRIFT show tremendous potential. There's a tight rhythmic sound at the core of most numbers on which Ramo installs his expansive crunchy riff patterns. Drummer Javaud Habibi's powerful footwork drives several of the five mostly extra-long tracks and his interaction with bassist Paul Wilson is impeccable. That is particularly noticeable due to the surprisingly strong and transparent production.
There are some similarities to Kyuss, but LOW SONIC DRIFT prefers a more metal-tinged sound and they are basically more interested in musical experiments. 'Shadows' is another highlight, where they once again reveal their preferance for heavy metal as well as their skills in arranging sophisticated song structures. Despite a few personal problems with the vocals, I must admit that 'Shadows Of The Titan' is an extremely entertaining and cohesive album with slightly progressive tendencies and plenty of room to groove. One can feel that LOW SONIC DRIFT aren't afraid to extend their musical radius. That is why I look forward to the next release. A very promising start.