Album Review – Broken In Refraction by Sanction (Pure Noise Records)

New York based hardcore/metalcore band Sanction release their latest album called Broken in Refraction via Pure Noise Records.

Rapidly rising stars of the New York hardcore/metalcore scene, Sanction return with their new album, Broken in Refraction. Released on the 26th of July via Pure Noise Records, the young band have put together a sonic assault of an album that captures the imagination while assaulting the senses. Despite the metalcore tag, don’t mistake this for modern metalcore. This borders deathcore and has a raw edge to it all that harks back to earlier times. Aggressive, intense and charged but jam packed with intelligence and feeling, you can see why Sanction are a band on the tip of tongues for everyone who follows this genre. Sanction are a five piece with little available information online. Best I know is they are called David, Andrew, Mike, Nick and Dillon. Letting the music do the talking for them, I guess.

Broken in Refraction

Sanction has 11 tracks on it but is only 23 minutes in length. Metallic hardcore with short tracks probably gives you an idea of what to expect across Broken in Refraction. Short, sharp bursts of high energy, aggressive metal with booming beats and rasping vocals. You would be right though there is a bit more depth to it and a little more variety than I initially expected. For the most part though, expect a pretty relentless assault on the senses. Once the spoken intro track, An Empty Thought, starts concluding you get a build up of booming drums and crunchy riffs to lead you into the second song, The Final Fraction and the assault starts.

The Final Fraction hits hard with a punishing rhythm and strong, raspy vocals. The main riff is great and has a metallic crunch to it while the lead guitars add a higher tone over the top. It transitions seamlessly into the next track, Paralysis. The start of the track is more like the end of the prior track. It stops suddenly for the sound of a heart monitor before exploding into life with a slow, shuddering groove. That soon switches up in pace and ferocity into a full blown attack. The little ascending guitar squeals are a great addition too before we drop back into slowed booming bass lines and guitars with the forceful vocals ripping into your ears.

That opening segment is a good representation of what you get across the rest of Broken in Refraction. Answers from a Syringe and Radial Lacerations both hit hard with big riffs and bigger drum blasts. Both tracks switch pace up at times and use little lead guitar lines to keep them fresh. The latter then fades out to sampled atmospherics similar to the intro. The fade out continues into the next track, Mirror Syndrome which stays with the samples but brings an absolute belter of a riff into the mix. The vocals are brilliant here adding a bit more backing for even greater depth.

Conscious in a Coma keeps the progressive riffing going with another great start that builds up with all instruments before breaking down into powerful vocal section. This leads into a change up that sees the guitars fade away and rhythm section stop. We get a few powerfully delivered vocal lines before a crescendo of instruments come back in for a big ending. Infants in Plastic and Cordia keep up the trend of pummelling your mind and body with more of what he have seen before. Strong drumming, big guitar crunches and powerful vocals delivered with intensity.

Shattering Man is the last proper track as the final one, Creation, is an outro following the same lines as the intro. Shattering Man sees the band turn all their power and force up a notch. The drums shake your bones and the vocals worm their way into your mind. Again the pace and tone switch up and down a bit ending with a slowed down metallic groove riff that fades into Creation.

Broken in Refraction is a strong album that is really cleverly put together. The whole album flows perfectly from the intro, the transition between songs through to the outro. In a way it could have been one long 23 minute epic song instead of smaller chapters. Musically, it is what you expect to a degree with familiar sounding guitar tones. Technical riffs, machine like drumming and slamming bass lines create the foundation for angry and passionate vocals to be delivered. There are few surprises throughout but it is a good listen and pace or tone changes in songs keep it fresh and keep you on your toes. It definitely sits firmly on the metalcore, maybe even deathcore, side of the hardcore crossover, which is a good thing for me. It’s a strong album that offers more than you might initially think so don’t discount it. Give it a spin.


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Broken In Refraction by Sanction (Pure Noise Records)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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