Sundrifter Melds Grunge, Doom and Classic Rock on ‘Visitations’ (ALBUM REVIEW)


Sundrifter is a heavy-rock trio from Boston. When you hear any part of the band’s music, it’s no surprise that the band found a home with Small Stone Records. Like most Small Stone artists, Sundrifter believe in volume, tempo, and fuzz, and show it on their new album Visitations (recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dan Schwartz at Futura Productions).

“Sons of Belial” kicks off the album and immediately grabs your attention. The staccato guitar in the verse is the kind of music where Beavis and Butt-head would vocally mimic the guitar sounds while pumping their fists and headbanging. On top of that, Patrick Queenan (drums) and Paul Gaughran (bass) make sure that you can feel the rhythm in the deepest part of your gut.

As the album progresses, there are noticeable similarities between Craig Peura’s vocals and those of Chris Cornell. It’s not just that their voices are similar in tone, but both voices are big and can fill the aural space on an album. A couple songs where the similarities to Cornell’s are most prominent are “Death March” and “Till You Come Down,” where he really belts out some notes that could easily fill a stadium.

As the album moves toward the end, it features two songs longer than six minutes. “Sky Peoples Son” is slower in tempo than a lot of the other songs, and it has a spacey sound not unlike Clutch’s self-titled album. This is a good one for when you want to sink into the couch and let the sound surround you. “Fire in the Sky” clocks in at longer than eight minutes, and this one goes heavy on the grunge. It is also a slower tempo than some of the other songs, but it was recorded in a way that the sound seems to surround you.

On this album, Sundrifter join grunge with doom and classic rock sounds. It’s perfect for a road trip in a 70s muscle car. At the same time, it is also a good soundtrack for a day when you want nothing more than to relax on your couch and enjoy some good tunes.

Photo credit: Mario Forgione Photography

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