Sons of Tonatiuh
Self-titled

I was listening Leechmilk’s Starvation of Locusts a few months back and thought to myself “Whatever happened to these guys?” A quick trip to Metal Archives and, lo and behold, Dan Caycedo of Leechmilk infamy is in a new band called Sons of Tonatiuh and they just released their first record. While I initially hoped for a Leechmilk sequel, Sons of Tonatiuh is vastly different and actually much better than Leechmilk. They take the traditional down tempo sludge pummel of Eyehategod, mix in some crust and hardcore and churn out a fairly original take on the classic sludge sound.

From the angular sludge of opener “To the Throne” to the hardcore gallop of “Chain up the Masses” and crusty punk infusion on “Consumed”, their straightforward, no bullshit approach is very enjoyable. The songs are compact, filler free and refreshingly absent of the bluesy Southern groove that has been effectively rendered a cliché by hordes of EyeHateGod clones. They smartly mix up tempo and riffing to avoid the repetitive sludge trap and place the focus squarely on raucous, knock-your-fucking-teeth-in attacks.

Its 35 minutes breeze on by, over before you know it. The whole thing fits together very nicely and my only recommendation would have been to cut the last two tracks off and make it an even 30 minutes. The coda of “Oracle” works as a natural conclusion for the record. The intro riff of the following track, “From Ashes”, recalls the composition of the first moments of the record and there’s a kind of reboot effect when it happens as though the album is starting over. Ultimately this is a niggling gripe since despite having a resemblance to an earlier riff the song is much different than the first. Maybe a reordering of the tracks would have helped or maybe this effect was intentional, as suggested by the song title. This is nitpicking though and doesn’t hamper the album much, if at all. Fans of crusty sludge violence take heed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
July 5th, 2011

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