Released: 2007, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Gord White
Sonic Reign has a very bright future. Not very often does a band burst onto the scene with such an excellent combination of solid, creative songwriting and scathing black metal ferocity. Hailing from Germany, the duo known as Sonic Reign released a couple demos and an EP before releasing their first full-length, RAW DARK PURE on their own Sovereignty Productions in 2006. Metal Blade Records, obviously liking what they heard, snapped the band up and re-released the album.
It’s small wonder that Metal Blade signed these guys. They’re a very unique sounding band as far as black metal goes. In songs like “Reminiscence of Imperial Death” and “Salt”, the band descends into some pretty progressive, thrashy passages without losing any of that all-important grimness that so many bands end up overdoing. Heck, in “Deceit Doctrine”, the opening track, the band sounds downright funky towards the end! Most of the songs on here do pretty well, achieving a balance between the catchier thrashy passages and the more traditional hyper-speed parts. The only songs that go for broke as far as BPM’s are concerned are “The Martyr Urge” and the title track, and they don’t work as well as the others.
Not only are Sonic Reign great songwriters, but they are also fantastic musicians. While there’s next to nothing in the way of solos, Ben plays some very demanding and creative riffs while Sebastian pummels the skins as well as anyone. All in all, the album exceeds all expectations (maybe because there wasn’t any?) and treats the listener to a great slab of music in a genre that is over-saturated by generic-sounding bands.