Sacri Monti Premiere “More Than I” From New Album Retrieval

sacri monti retrieval

San Diego classic heavy rockers Sacri Monti are set to release their third album, Retrieval, on July 26 through Tee Pee Records. And as much as the 37-minute six-tracker merrily bends time to its whims in terms of the melding of heavy ’70s progressivism and modern expanse, it has still been five real years since the five-piece’s last studio full-length, 2019’s Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (review here), though they did in 2023 issue live at Sonic Whip MMXII (review here), capturing their performance at the Dutch heavyfest of the same name and introducing listeners to new songs “Desirable Sequel” — a phrase one might use to describe Retrieval itself — and “Intermediate Death.” Following the opener “Maelstrom,” those two appear in succession on the new record, as part of an included trilogy of counterintuitive adjectives and nouns that also encompasses the vinyl’s side B opener, “Brackish Honeycomb,” before the interlude “Moon Canyon” and nine-minute closer “More Than I” (premiering below) complete the proceedings with some of Sacri Monti‘s most ambitious and richest sounds to-date.

Like its predecessor, Retrieval flows smoothly and is unrepentantly speaking to vintage ideas in the organ work of Evan Wenskay and the shuffling riffcraft of Dylan Donovan and Brenden Dellar (also vocals), given solid form and push by Anthony Meier‘s bass and Thomas DiBenedetto‘s drumming. But as they lean toward a more modern recording sound, the sprawl of their melodies has never sounded quite so realized, and in the pairing of shorter and longer cuts throughout, they find a way to balance a kind of rhythmic restlessness next to more patient, flowing ideas. This is the up-front message sent as “Maestrom” — which feels like it was born to open a live set — builds to a synth-laced tension of chug and Dellar begins a first verse after two of its three minutes have passed, and “Desirable Sequel” unfurls from there, setting out with quiet guitar meander and establishing a melancholy vocal narrative. It might be considered of a kind on some levels with “Slipping From the Day,” which appeared on the band’s self-titled debut (review here) in 2015, but the comparison only emphasizes the growth the years since have wrought in their sound, likewise affirmed by the clarity with which “Intermediate Death” spins out its initial intensity only to drop to standalone organ and lands in the plague-era malaise of the verse, marked by the lines repeated later, “Running through this world on empty/Tryin’ to do the best I can.”

Since their inception, Sacri Monti have had the ability to splinter off in one movement or another, the guitars and organ taking melodic flight while Meier and DiBenedetto provide crucial ground beneath, only to come together around a verse, chorus, whatever it might be. “Intermediate Death” is more straightforward in terms of structure, ultimately, but still holds this spirit as the lush hook unfolds, all the more conveying its emotional crux with the five members of the band heading to the same place at the same time.

“Brackish Honeycomb” follows with Thin Lizzy-style guitar (and organ) leads and classic prog jabs, but its eight-minute course is a precursor for “More Than I” to come in its sweep, and as they move through the second half of the song, the drums, bass, organ and guitars, in succession, take a moment to shine with jammy breadth before turning back to see how far they’ve come via more lockstep lead guitar. This is Sacri Monti at their best — vibrant, writing for the ‘magic hour’ they’ll spend playing on a stage, making the most of the chemistry and instrumental conversation happening — and they arrive at that moment organically, as “Brackish Honeycomb” proceeds, giving it due and purposeful culmination before departing to the acoustic, lap steel, and Mellotron-ish sounds of the sub-three-minute, duly echoing “Moon Canyon.”

And part of the reason “Moon Canyon” lands where it does on the record is likely to give space between “Brackish Honeycomb” and “More Than I,” which are Retrieval‘s two longest and farthest reaching tracks, but the atmospheric reset also informs the context in which the closer sets forth. It is progressive enough in its mood to remind of Astra, and patient in the verse without being staid as the band build toward the short guitar solo after the three-minute mark, then double-back to the song’s intro and set out again, only to wind up in a more subdued instrumental stretch, not quite a jam, but a go-with-it kind of groove that opens to lush keyboard melody and a build that carries them to Dellar‘s subtly Sabbathian “whoa-oh yeah,” and off to double-guitar soar from there. The serenity of that moment doesn’t last — Sacri Monti aren’t hanging out anywhere for too long — as there’s one more build into the finish, but it’s acoustic guitar that closes, and the prevailing sentiment complements the melancholia throughout, without letting go of the live energy that’s obviously so crucial to the character of the band.

In that way, as well as in the complexity of its songwriting, the thoughtfulness of its melodies and the care put into its arrangements, Retrieval feels like a definitive work on Sacri Monti‘s part. At the show — whichever show; they play plenty of them — it’s the kind of thing they could do live in its entirety and represent their stylistic scope, and by the time “More Than I” finished, it’s easy to imagine a line at the merch table to grab LPs. Can’t argue. However long it may or may not have been in the making, Retrieval comes across like a culmination, and front to back, it brings the listener with it on a course that is dynamic and not untroubled, but nonetheless able to swing through whatever comes. There’s a lesson in there for the listener, to be sure.

“More Than I” premieres on the player below. I advise a deep breath before you dive in, and thank you for reading.

PR wire info, including European Please enjoy:

In recent years, Sacri Monti has transcended sonic expectations to create a singular sound so unique that their name has become synonymous with invention.

Signed to Tee Pee Records, this July the SoCal five-piece are back to show once again why they are one of the label’s leading progressive lights with the release of their third studio album, Retrieval.

Formed in Oceanside in 2012 the band has ridden the crest of an enduring wave of unmissable heavy psych bands that have emerged from the San Diego area. So much so that in 2018, Roadburn Festival invited them to take part in a ‘San Diego Takeover’, which found the band showcasing their inimitable sound alongside peers such as Arctic, Harsh Toke, Joy, and a handful of others.

Fans will also be pleased to hear that this summer Sacri Monti embark on a European tour in support of the album, dates, and details of which can be found below.

There’s no question that Sacri Monti has upped their game on Retrieval. Due for release on 26th July 2024 via Tee Pee Records we highly advise you to do the same. Pre-order the album here:

European Tour Dates

1/8 – Blah Blah – Turin, Italy
2/8 – Pietra Sonica Fest – Osoppo Udine, Italy
3/8 – Palp Festival – Couvert du Goly. Switzerland
5/8 – Stone Smoker – Louny, Czech Republic
6/8 – Channel Zero – Ljubljana, Slovenia
9/8 – Sonic Blast Festival – Moledo, Portugal
10/8 – Hoflarm Open Air – Seelbach, Germany
11/8 – Urban Spree – Berlin, Germany
14/8 – dB’s – Utrecht, Netherlands
15/8 – Merlyn – Nijmegen, Netherlands
17/8 – Volcano Sessions – Montpeloux, France
18/8 – Secret Place – Montpellier, France
21/8 – Le Cirque Electrique – Paris, France
22/8 – The Black Heart – London, UK
23/8 – 1865 – Southampton, UK
24/8 – Kazimier Stockroom – Liverpool, UK
25/8 – Cosmic Vibration Fest – Sheffield, UK

Track Listing

1. Maelstrom
2. Desirable Sequel
3. Intermediate Death
4. Brackish/Honeycomb
5. Moon Canyon
6. More Than I

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

Sacri Monti on Facebook

Sacri Monti on Instagram

Sacri Monti BigCartel store

Sacri Monti on Soundcloud

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Facebook

Tee Pee Records on Instagram

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply