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"The Ripple Effect " Sonic Bliss" Loved to Death"

Sonic Bliss – Loved to Death

Asking bands or musicians to submit their music based on a thirty second snippet posted on a web page can be a precarious act. So often, the music we hear from these short samplings falls terribly short of our expectations once that same music is played on a better sound system or in its entirety. As a reviewer, we have two choices. Review it and voice our displeasure with the product, which then has us incurring the wrath of the musicians who sent us the music on their dime, or ignore it completely and hope the band forgets who they sent it to in the first place. Fortunately for me, I don’t have either of those scenarios to worry about with this one. Sonic Bliss’ Loved to Death, though I honestly don’t remember requesting it, perked up my ears and made me take notice.

Now, you Waveriders know that I eat metal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Heck, I’ve even been known to consume a bit as a midday snack! What I’ve found with Loved to Death is an album that acts as that middle ground between the “ARGHH!” of metal and the “sigh” of acoustic chill. It’s never too abrasive and loud, nor too mellow to be boring. Sonic Bliss play a hard edged rock with a metal edge and incorporate more “non-traditional” rock instruments for added texture and ambiance. These added instruments give the album a greater sense of depth. A grandiose sensation of rock ‘n roll with a flair for the dramatic, if you will. Mind you, nothing that hasn’t been done before, but rarely done so well.

I knew immediately that I was in for a treat when the first tune kicked in and singer Rene D. Berrios’ voice grabbed my attention with its Bruce Dickinson-esque timbre. Showing an amazing range of tone and dynamics, Rene’s voice lifts the lead track, “Sahara,” to the stratosphere. There’s so much character to his voice in this one tune alone that I could probably dedicate an entire paragraph to it, so for the sake of the rest of the music, I’ll leave it as this . . . dude’s got an amazing voice! The music simply rocks. The guitars are just crunchy enough to make you wanna’ flex your muscles and the drums pop with an explosive charge. Hard edged alright, but not so dark and menacing that you’re afraid you’ve just sold a piece of your soul. In particular, I like the production work at the end of the tune as the music goes from stereo to mono and the guitars completely cut from the mix. Great effect! Oh, and before I forget to mention, the chorus is as catchy as they come.

Speaking of catchy choruses, the second track picks up where “Sahara” leaves off. “Far Cry” is a more upbeat rocker that harkens back to the days when ‘80’s metal was fun . . . just before it got too silly. In fact, Loved to Death would have fit well between anything from Y&T and early Dokken. As I mentioned, the chorus is great! The phrasing is perfect and it’s this tune that I find myself humming as I let my mind wander.

“Babe, I’m Dying” shakes things up from the metal tendencies. Opening with a full vocal harmony, the music kicks in with a more funked out vibe. The rhythm’s are more grooving and the addition of the horn section throughout give the tune an element of further frivolity. Though, lyrically, the tune has more to do with dying, as the titled should warn you, the music is almost celebratory. Maybe that’s the deeper meaning to the tune. Celebrate your inevitable demise coz’ your maker is getting’ down with his bad self. Uh . . . her bad self. Well, whatever. At times, Berrios reaches deep to belt out soulful lines that remind me of Corey Glover from Living Colour. I told you he had some range, didn’t I?

“Dead Sea of Love (Pirate Song)” is an epic tune that features a couple new instrumental twists that add flavor to an already tasty morsel. Sonic Bliss utilize a bit of electric mandolin and the vocal talents of a young lady simply going by the name of Lea. Her backing vocals add a phenomenal compliment to Berrios’ already compelling vocal nuance. Check out the breath control as she leads the listener into the guitar solo. Her voice rises until it seems like it will fly away on its own accord. But, the addition of the female vocals isn’t the last of the curveballs thrown our way in this tune. Instead of breaking into a full on guitar solo as one would expect, the band fire off with a violin solo. Hello! Where the hell did that come from? Doesn’t matter . . . it’s a cool touch that fits the tune exceptionally well. This is an emotionally packed and well written song, and I’m gonna’ call it my favorite on the album.

All the tunes have great vocal performances over well crafted musical passages with “In My Dreams” and “Save My Soul” being just a couple more of the highlights to Love to Death. But it was Sonic Bliss’ reworking of the classic Stevie Wonder tune, “Superstition,”that really caught my attention. Now, I know what you’re all thinking. Hasn’t everyone tackled this tune and left us just wanting to go back to the o - The Ripple Effect

"Wildy's World"

Sonic Bliss was born of five New York City music scene vets and one newcomer. The band seeks to bring old school classic rock into the twenty first century with smart lyrics, powerful songwriting and an explosive stage show. Vocalist Rene Berrios sounds like the ideal rock and roll front man, with a big powerful voice that can soar as easily as growl; lead guitarist Roger Petersen andKeyboardist Rob Cardillo give the band a Pink Floyd, Zeppelin,Styx-like sound, and Glenn Roberts andGerry Weeks make up one of the tightest rhythm sections in Rock N Roll. Band members have individually played with or opened for Joan Jett, Mountain, Dee Snider/Twisted Sister, Ike and Tina Turner, Anthrax, Rick Derringer and Smokey Robinson, among others. Sonic Bliss itself has shared a stage with Queensryche,Winger,Dokken, Black 47, Richie Havens, Cactus, Blue Oyster Cult and Savoy Brown. Sonic Bliss has built a reputation as one of the finest classic-rock style bands New York has seen. With Loved To Death, Sonic Bliss looks to propel themselves into a higher orbit. It just might work.

Loved To Death opens with Sahara, a big, strutting guitar rock tune that is at times reminiscent of Metallica. Aside from the big guitar work this song has a strong melody and a certain melancholy chutzpah that can not be denied. Far Cry takes off on a tear built of great guitar hooks and an outstanding vocal performance. This song sounds like post-Dennis DeYoung Styx material and is one of the better songs on the album. Better Days is a big acoustic anthem that allows the listener a bit of respite before the explosive hook that opens Home Again bends your mind. Home Again explores the human capacity for greed; the constant need for more and more. The song is full of great harmonies and a vibrant guitar part that very much moves the song along. Babe I'm Dying brings some 1970's funk into the mix, complete with horn section. Not to lay on the Styx references too much, but if you know ever heard Lonely People you'll know exactly what sound I'm talking about here.

It's not so much that Sonic Bliss sounds like anyone in particular, although the Styx and Metallica references have some real weight. It's more that Sonic Bliss engages on a musical playground that so many great bands have visited before. At the end of the day Sonic Bliss has a sound all their own, and that comes across nicely on Dead Sea Of Love, which is probably the best song on Loved To Death. Berrios is absolutely at the top of his game here, and Lea steps forward to the mic as a foil on the chorus to deliver a devastating aural counterpunch. The woman has pipes. In My Dreams opens with an organ interlude that segues into a roiling, angst filled guitar bank. The dark tone and themes roll away into sunlight for just Berrios and church-style organ. In My Dreams comes across as almost prayerfully introspective.

Nail In My Heart with a gypsy-sounding violin dancing along to a plaintive acoustic guitar part with Berrios singing over the top. This is perhaps the most emotionally powerful song on the album, and Lea again joins in to counterpoint Berrios. Save My Soul is an angry, anxious and ultimately desperate plea buried in driven guitars and seismic rhythms. Seven Days is a wonderfully dark rocker with religious overtones and some really unusual guitar work. From a pure Prog perspective this might be the most memorable song on Loved To Death, as it spirals almost out-of-control to its end. As an added bonus there's a live version of Stevie Wonder's Superstitious that will absolutely knock your socks off.

Sonic Bliss uses the concept album format album to drive home eleven powerful songs centered on themes of religion, redemption, belief and the infallibility of human imperfection. Prog/Arena rock fans you've been waiting for this one. Loved To Death brings retro-1970's hard rock into the twenty-first century with a glorious, resounding bang. Check out Loved To Death and see why Sonic Bliss have - Wildy


Unforgivin- single released 2011

Loved to Death- 2008

Out Of The Shadows- 2013

Metamorphosis- 2005

All tracks featured on Radio Airplay and College radio markets




Explosive Originals and Rock Classics

Sonic Bliss has created a sound, a genre; all their own, driving bass riffs and melodic intrinsic guitar comprise this 5-piece band from New York. Sonic Bliss is comprised of seasoned veterans, Rene Berrios (lead vocals, guitar), Roger Petersen (Guitar, vocals), Rob Cardillo (Keyboards), Glenn Roberts (Bass), Gerry Weeks (Drums, percussion, vocals). Having played with musicians from Dee Snider, Lenny Kravitz, Rick Derringer, Deep Purple, Queensryche, Lynch Mob, Winger and many more, these guys certainly aren’t new to the scene. Performed globally and locally at venues such as BB Kings, Highline Ballroom, Arlene’s Grocery, Bolton Center, Mulcahy’s and at The Great South Bay Festival.
Unique details like violin solos and dynamic vocals during impactful bridges and choruses set this band apart from other progressive pop/rock contenders. Sonic Bliss is the culmination of Godsmack and new popular alternative rock heavy hitters like Disturbed with subtle post-hardcore undertones. Elaborating on the large questions of love, loss, and humanity, Sonic Bliss instills an ominous reality through the themes of their music. This band seems to shine in a live setting, and their notoriety is heavily set in their ability to visually entertain. Sonic Bliss Band also brings a variety of Rock classics ala Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and other timeless classics into their powerful live sets . Currently in the studio finishing up their 3rd CD “Out of The Shadows” bringing forth the power and intensity of their earlier CD’s “Metamorphosis” and “Loved to Death” this record will bring Sonic Bliss into the forefront.
Sonic Bliss is equal parts tranquility and raw energy, a combination which creates an ominous reality, especially when seen live. “Geoff Tate former lead singer of Queensryche was blown away by our tunes and tight vocals” remarked Rene … “this has been a killer year so far and we have some great things happening on the horizon”. This group of musicians has taken the roots of rock and roll and transformed their passion into a sonic (symphonic) rock ecstasy, from songs that want to make you drive fast down the coast and party all night….Take a trip with SONIC BLISS.