Sertraline (Buffalo, NY) formed in the winter of 2014 as a reimagining of veteran death-doom group Where She Wept. The band, armed with the experience and chemistry of longtime collaboration, began to craft a new sonic legacy, combining atmostpheric black metal with post-rock elements to create a uniquely heavy-hitting trio of EPs: Shade (2017), From Both Our Hands (2019), and These Mills Are Oceans (2019), now released as a single compilation for the first time entitled The Streetlight Was All We Needed.
Sertraline are marked by immense musical saturation. Three guitars pour out sustained, melodic passages drenched in reverb and illustrated with glacial leads, backed by a rhythm section inspired equally to jazz-like syncopation and punishing metal proficiency. Often wandering but never lost, each song surprises listeners in turn with moments of introspection and emotional climax, punctuated by lyrics which span themes of “guilt, regret, addiction, anxiety, and depression…but also a hunger for love and hope” amidst reflection upon and angst towards the present social and political climate.
Band lineup: Guitars – Jay Zgoda / Guitars – David Lopian / Guitars – Shelly Muehlbauer /
Vocals – Tom Muehlbauer / Drums – Ken Culton / Bass – Jason Roman
Sertraline is the most aurally decadent post-black metal band to hit the scene in the last few years. Their impact comes primarily from a
combination of melodic saturation and individual expertise. Most of the members previously played together for over a decade in the band
Where She Wept, and the chemistry in this six-piece is obvious. The vocals are passionate and laden with emotion; the three-guitar choir creates
an impenetrable wall of sound; the bass is unique, expressive, and vibrant; and the drums are clearly jazz-influenced, groovy, and, when called for,
unrelenting. The result is a second EP that will leave you craving the next release, crawling back to listen to their 2017 release Shade again, and
seeing them perform live at every opportunity.
In November 2019, Sertraline followed up From Both Our Hands with a second EP in less than six months, entitled These Mills Are Oceans yet
another sublime collection of songs that will conjure up a plethora of emotion through its fantastic use of dynamics and juxtaposition between
delicate and ominous atmospheres and vibrant crescendos of lush and mesmerizing sections that feel deeply cathartic. From the start of “Eyes As
Tableau”, Sertraline will enthrall, enchant, hypnotize and hold a trance on you until the last note is played.