Reviewed: April 2022
Released: 2022 Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
Social problems and politics aren’t themes I would normally expect to find in traditional heavy metal albums, though Sanhedrin all the way from New York City have pushed the envelope in that field with their latest album: “Lights On.”
It is no mystery what influenced the band’s latest offering as it begins with vocalist Erica Stoltz belting about the pandemic which has engulfed the world for the last two years, as well as themes of depression, poverty, growing anger and moments of violence and political unrest – all things that made this band stand out for me, given my opinions of bands who border on speed and power metal.
The fast pace of the songs, coupled with the powerful drive of the vocals and heftiness of the rhythm is what made this record an enjoyable one. New York has birthed a long and versatile history of artists and bands over the last two centuries and I think Sanhedrin deserve a good mention for taking a risk in their music – especially in a time where current affairs are erratic to say the least. What we have here is an album that will please anyone into regular heavy metal, thrash metal or stripped down power metal as Sanhedrin appear to have understood whom they were aiming at.
Production-wise, the distortion is at a good level that doesn’t drown out the vocals and the song lengths don’t make the band outstay their welcome. It will be interesting the see these songs performed live so I hope Sanhedrin come to the UK some day soon. Imagine if bands like Lucifer or Satan moved away from occultism and took more of a social justice route and you will have Sanhedrin.