Title: Pro Human. Pro Life.
Release Date: 12/12/2011
Reviewer: Fallon Braddy
- Damascus, Ohio
- Pro Human. Pro Life.
- Thunderbird, Florida
- George Fox
There comes a point in explanation of a subjective matter where you run out of technical terminology to explain what one person perceives differently to another unique perspective. For example, when describing music from one person to another, you’ll use various genres (i.e. pop punk, post-rock, folk, the dreaded “screamo”) or name off the qualities of the musical composition of a certain song (i.e. breakdown, harmony, fast, slow). I believe genres were created to make description of music an easier task; organizing artists of similar stylings into a group can make understanding each individual artist a bit easier to grasp when describing something that can only truly create an impression on a person when listened to. With that being said, I’m going to defer from giving Sanhedrin a genre other than “heavy”, simply due to the fact that I have not once felt comfortable narrowing Pro Human. Pro Life. down to anything more specific. I could say this has grindcore, hardcore and power violence influence, but honestly, using those terms to try and give you an understanding of this band just doesn’t click with me. We’ll stick to the specific descriptors. This is a very good thing in my book.
Pro Human. Pro Life. is short and sweet, five tracks clocking in at just over 10 minutes all together. The lo-fi recording quality of this auditory assault is what grabbed my heart from the very start, which very well plays into a musical philosophy I listen and write by: you can almost always pick out a good band or album when the production value is lesser than that of “standard” or popular acts and it still piques your interest. If anything, I’d say that the rough feel of the songs a unique texture, similar to how ambiance in a restaurant, while it may be an afterthought when considering the overall experience of a dinner, greatly enhance the experience’s overall quality. Sanhedrin captivates me further than their musical timbre by ensuring the listener that you will not start this album and think after the last track, “That was a long and boring first song.” The structure of the songs themselves are by no means repetitive, bouncing from mosh-inducing riffs to blast-beat driven verses, mentally adhesive chants in choruses, and simple, atmospherically appropriate guitar leads. Even in the 49 second long title track “Pro Human. Pro Life.”, the song goes from what could’ve potentially been generic powerviolence or white noise into a thoughtfully proportioned progression peppered with a chorus that will have you whispering “Today, we are all Sanhedrin” any time you’re alone.
Reading through the lyrics, I honestly feel like I’m reading a book of poetry. The words convey deep meaning in somewhat of a aesthetically pleasing cryptic phrasing manner. The imagery being used, such as “Live life like the Volta River” and “Post millennial pitch black migration”, causes the reader to dissect and determine what is being said beyond a simple, “Oh, this is a song about ____”. The depth of the song topics, from martyrdom to praise to sin and trial, are all communicated in a way that demands your attention. Once your attention is grasped, your introspection is more easily attracted and you’ll find the lyrics grabbing some meaning in your heart.
Overall: Pro Human. Pro Life. is a fantastic debut release for Sanhedrin. With current members of Overcome, you can only expect the 90’s metalcore influence to be magnified with the intensity of grind and powerviolence bands. This EP portrays the nostalgia of a demo tape’s quality (I actually listened to this album on cassette) with poetic beauty in white-noise-like shrieks and fast-paced, atmospheric aggression. You can download Pro Human. Pro Life. for free or donation on Sanhedrin’s bandcamp. Don’t sleep on this band, you can only expect improvement with future releases.
RIYL: Overcome, Grindcore, Powerviolence (I honestly don’t listen to that much music like Sanhedrin, feel free to suggest bands in the comments)