Published Aug 13, 2019On Broken in Refraction, Sanction show the world through their eyes — twisted, anxious and distanced from life's simple pleasures.
Truthfully, not much has changed for these miserable Long Islanders. Moving beyond the five fragments of dissonant madness within 2017's The Infringement of God's Plan EP, the band put their introductory chapter to a close in the first two cuts of this LP, "… An Empty Thought" and "The Final Fraction." Both reference their older works while demonstrating what Broken in Refraction is — an extensive, refined version of what Sanction do best, dismal and jagged metalcore with retro flair from throughout the last decade.
Vocalist David Blom navigates the mouldy hopelessness of life through opaque lyricism on "Infants in Plastic" and "Paralysis." Those just hearing Sanction by way of their Pure Noise Records signing will learn quickly that their pummelling sound is spoiled with discordant guitar work and groove-centric breakdowns that sit adjacent the best of MySpace deathcore and stomach-turning mosh metal, much like Elysia, Deadwater Drowning and the first Bring Me the Horizon EP.
Shorter tracks "Conscious in a Coma" and "Mirror Syndrome" welcome changes in pace — dreary guitar melodies and tempo-shattering nu-metal that steers away from the chug-centric "mosher's delight" this record is otherwise certain of. There's conviction in everything guitarist Mike Marino does, right down to the samples of hospital noise and ugly static that tie together the tracklist and hone in the group's ambiance.
Even when Sanction attempt to take it easy, each effort finds its way back to bloodthirsty pit action without feeling predictable. By the time one reaches "Radial Lacerations" or the disgusting slam of "Answers From a Syringe," it solidifies that Sanction are a non-entity in metalcore that cannot be pinned down to gimmicks and ghosts of trends past. They're an oozing wound of unstipulated malice, and Broken in Refraction is an assembly of songs from their personal hell. (Pure Noise)