Review of Sonsombre: One Thousand Graves

Band: Sonsombre

Label: Cleopatra Records

Home: Northern Virginia

2019 brought the release of one of the most exciting things to happen to the goth genre in the last decade. Sonsombre‘s “The Veils of Ending” was the album I had been waiting for. Goth music has always drawn it’s mystique from history. The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, The Chameleon’s created a darker romantic form of rock music that explored the macabre which seemed hard to find again. After those gothfathers everyone wanted to reinvent goth music into something else. It got further and further from it’s form. I feel like the time has finally come for Sonsombre to bring things back to the roots. It leans in and captures that cemetery vine hanging from a forgotten temple aesthetic. With “One Thousand Graves” they have pushed through further beyond that veil into something dark and beautiful to challenge the senses and unlock the dark recesses of our hearts.

Brandon is Goth as Fuck, you can tell because he has the widest hat brim since Andrew Eldrich

This album really shows a band finding themselves. I feel like the success of TVOE really gave a confidence to embrace more of what they are. The guitars are a giant black furred wolf growling with hair standing on end. The bass is a thundering storm bellowing out a foreboding prophesy of an uncertain future. The keyboard is rushing wind stirring the leaves on a damp autumn morning. Brandon’s voice is a dangerous and sinister whisper full of echo’s making a spectral challenge. These lyrics are a forgotten poetry of Byron and Poe singing to that darkest part of our nature. I know this review is starting to get pretty metaphorical but poetry demands poetry and Sonsombre makes me want to embrace the dark poet in my own heart.


Top Tracks: Fuck me how to choose. Ok lets try

Slumber: I love the tolling bells opening this song. An ominous ringing to play herald to Brandon’s anguished cry. Stinging buzzing guitar. A true power balled for the ages that reminds me of Sisters of Mercy 1959.

Lights out: This anthem of dark power and midtempo drive keeps you on the edge of your own mind. “With the Lights out we can share the sorrow, we can live like no tomorrow”. I think this promise of hope in the face of so much darkness in Sonsombre’s songs is what really captures me every time. Gentle pin prick fender jazz tube amp walking guitar. Like vampires stalking in a New Orleans graveyard hunting for my eardrums and sinking in their teeth.

No Warning : One of the things I have come to associate with Sonsombre is the sheer breakneck speed while the low end owns the tone of the music. It burns with a violet fire. This song makes your heart race towards your own demise. The bassline is enormousness and always driving. Dance Club jam!

The future is dark again, the past is reborn in fire, and I am a believer in what Sonsombre means for the future of goth rock music. Buy this album and become a believer that goth is real and alive in 2020.

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