SONIC REIGN

Black Metal • Germany
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Sonic Reign is a Black Metal Band from Germany which established in 1997. Now in alliance with Metal Blade.
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Raw Dark PureRaw Dark Pure
Metal Blade 2007
$2.95
$2.75 (used)
Monument in BlackMonument in Black
Apostasy Records 2013
$7.65
$15.89 (used)
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SONIC REIGN Raw Dark Pure album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Raw Dark Pure
Black Metal 2006
SONIC REIGN Monument in Black album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Monument in Black
Black Metal 2013

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SONIC REIGN Reviews

SONIC REIGN Monument in Black

Album · 2013 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Sonic Reign is a black metal duo hailing from Germany, and although they've been around as far back as 1997, it wasn't until 2013 that their sophomore observation was unleashed. Entitled Monument In Black, this is the follow-up to 2006's Raw Dark Pure - an album that went largely unnoticed by many listeners, but still garnered enough attention to warrant a re-release from Metal Blade Records the following year. Monument In Black is my introduction to Sonic Reign's music, and I am pretty damn impressed. While it may not be a revolution for black metal as a whole, this is a punishing old school release that stands as one of the genre's strongest efforts from early 2013.

Monument In Black primarily resides in old school black metal territory, but many of the riffs have a groovy tinge that bring acts like Satyricon to mind. This isn't a one-dimensional blast beat and tremolo picking assault by any stretch, and the rhythmic diversity heard throughout the album is a large part of what makes it so enjoyable. The tracks on Monument In Black tend to linger around the six minute mark, but they never feel stale or repetitive - each song features a barrage of well written riffs and some exceptional execution. The musicianship is impressive, especially considering that Sonic Reign has only two members, and the production is clear while still remaining edgy and unpolished. Benjamin Borucki's vocals might actually be what grabs me most, as his crisp annunciation and commanding shriek adds a level of power to the music that is absent from many other black metal releases.

Across the board, Monument In Black is a successful observation from Sonic Reign. Its atmospheres are bleak, its songwriting is powerful, and it also has diverse riff structures that allow it to stand out from the crowd. Though Monument In Black might not be an essential pickup for black metal fans, it's the sort of quality release that should definitely impress its listener. Sonic Reign has returned, and they're back with a 'bang'!

SONIC REIGN Monument in Black

Album · 2013 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Monument in Black (2013) is the second full-length album by German black metal duo Sonic Reign. The group has had quite the lengthy gap between releases as their debut album, Raw Dark Pure, was released in 2006, with none of the minor releases that many other artists have in between the albums, so I guess if you’d been following Sonic Reign back then it may have seemed as if they dropped off the face of the Earth. But anyway, they’re back, so regardless of it you knew of them back in 2006 or are new to them like me let’s see what they’re all about.

While the album may on the surface seem to be a no-frills attached black metal affair, it’s a very modern take on the genre that I’m hearing here. I’m thinking the more recent works of Satyricon or Darkthrone circa The Cult Is Alive as the most obvious reference points for Sonic Reign’s music. The production is a lot clearer and more polished than say Darkthrone’s earlier work, but still with a bit of a raw, dirty edge to it. The production job suits the music perfectly, as it allows Sonic Reign to show off the more groovy side to their riffs. It’s not however anywhere near as punky as Darkthrone became. Otherwise though we’re still dealing with a black metal record that conforms to what you’d expect to hear out of a record from the genre, and although it comes across as being distinctly more creative than many black metal albums are, it’s not exactly revolutionary. Sometimes though there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as you are good at what you do. Sonic Reign are most definitely good at what they do.

Although I can’t honestly say Monument in Black is an essential black metal release I’ve enjoyed listening to it a fair bit and if you like the recent work of Satyricon and Darkthrone it’s most definitely an album you may find to be of interest. A great album tier rating is deserved.

80/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/sonic-reign-monument-in-black-t2770.html))

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