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One Track Mind: The Great Sabatini – Matterhorn – City Limits

Natalie Zina Walschots

Occupying a wonderfully strange place on the Canadian metal landscape, one that combines great technical dexterity with the deep emotional reverberations of sludge (the band lovingly refer to this micro-genre as “swamp trench arithmetic”), The Great Sabatini have dropped a new mountain on their particular musical skyline with Matterhorn. “City Limits” is the opening track off of the album, and starts the record with a cacophonous frenzy, shaking with aggression and drenched in feedback. The chaos gradually resolves into sharp, spiny riffs that seem to claw upwards, bleeding fingertips clinging to the sheer rock wall of some miserable peak. The pace lurches and then slows. The that begins with a stinging attack coagulates into a long, drawn out ache. With a murmur, a soft voice sample, and finally an eerie digital buzz, “City Limits” ends on a note that is at once soothing and unsettling.

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