Fans of Sarin's brand of abrasive rock have had to make do with a hastily recorded EP for the past year but with the release of Ingredients, a full album's worth of aural abuse is now available to torment parents and neighbors.
With a caustic sound similar to bands like Rage Against The Machine, Hatebreed, 40 Below Summer and Creed (just kidding on that last one… heh, heh), Sarin hits you hard and doesn't let up until mere pulp remains. A true band in motion, Ingredients is a snapshot of a particular lineup. Gone are second vocalist Jason Rassman and second guitarist Craig Maloley, who has been replaced by Brad Stokes, although both Rassman and Maloely perform on this release. Originally formed in 1998, the band retains drummer Ryan Othersen, vocalist Shane Cox, bassist Nick Sauer and first chair guitarist Aaron Cox.
The album kicks off with "Nineleven", a brief prelude of air raid sirens, drums, and could it be a sample of Orson Wells? Into this eerie night calm cuts "Casualties" with duel guitars buzzing like chainsaws, deadly drums, and a heavy, assaulting riff. The title track has the metal/rap vocals that become hoarse shouting. Caustic guitars rip through as loud and crushing as any national release, paving the way for "Suffer" with its machine gun guitar rhythm and pulse quickening kick drums. "Puppet" lays a thudding, low groove and dueling vocals. Back in my day kids would do a new dance called the "mosh" to such a grinding song… Yep, I'm a true geezer. "Elm Street" is a brief bit of clear air in the form of a three-minute instrumental of mysterious keyboards and gutsy, crispy guitars. "Hard To Breath" allows a bit of vocal melody into the wood chipper fray and the album ends on "Hopeless", a massive wall of harsh, spiteful guitars that tear away any shreds that may remain of your speaker cones. While I couldn't make out much of the lyrics, I think I'm fairly safe in saying that these are not the optimistic love songs of Barry Manilow.
Neal Parnin at Soundmill Studios did an excellent job of capturing the raw energy of one of Fort Wayne's heaviest bands, although at times I detected a bit of unintentional distortion due to clipping. Who am I kidding? This stuff is light on melody, ultra heavy on masochistic guitar riffs… all distortion is welcomed with open arms. Build some heavy calluses on your eardrums by picking up this loud album at Wooden Nickel, Tri-State Music, Conser Music, or Grade-A Tattoos.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, May 2002.