(All Album Reviews by avestin)
This is genuinely grave, man. If I were to look at the album as a whole, a grave and grim picture is what I would paint. Heavy and dark, this album has more to it than
The name of the album is a bit weird, but as the press release says, it symbolizes the three characteristics of this recording. The most prominent of these that comes up when listening is, as I said above, grave.
The riffs, the drumming, the overall atmosphere is that of seriousness and indeed that of gravity. However there is a counter response to that grim and cumbersome feel in the form of the flute and delicate vocals, both reminding me of Deadsoul Tribe and Devon Graves (pun?).
Indeed, had I not known I was listening to Dark Suns, I’d have thought at first listen that “Flies In Amber”, “Thornchild” or “Free Of You” were new Deadsoul Tribe songs as they fit in sound, style and even name of the song; differences may be found in “Flies In Amber” where there are growl(-like) vocals that come in a bit later in the song (which remind me of Nick Holmes in the Shades Of God album by Paradise Lost. )It also differs as it develops to more than what DST usually does, though it may very well serve as a basis for what to expect. Unlike DST they don’t write songs made in a somewhat strict mold; they break through it and add variations, experimentations and buildups and they infuse energy to counteract the slower parts. This dose of energy is very well in place, as it breaks the pace and adds interest.
The similarity to Pain Of Salvation may be (apart from the sound itself) in the way they structure their songs. I’m not expert on this, but the feeling I got from listening, is that they seem to follow or at least unconsciously build their tracks as POS did on their albums like Remedy Lane and The Perfect Element I.
An interesting song is “Amphibian Halo” which makes use of electronic effects and a pervasive sound and atmosphere; as if they’re invading your mind while you listen. Another great track is the fantastic “The Chameleon Defect”, which has a great noisy part to it with a very high intensity dose that comes unexpected. The following is a good buildup and development of the former. This is exactly how I would like to hear the band go to. Combine their ability to create beautiful and inspired musical landscapes as “Flies In Amber” with their talent that made this track. This track alone is shows their skill and aptitude to form gorgeous tunes that not only mesmerize with their beauty but also stupefy with power.
All in all, there’s quite a bit of variety in the sounds they create in the various songs here. Though all share a basic grain, Dark Suns show they know how to grow each one of these grains in different ways to achieve an interesting diversity and mix of songs. At first it may not be apparent, but close listening will reveal this.
Aside from what sounds to me like obvious influences, I have to say I enjoy this album a lot! It is very well done, well played and well composed in a sense that I enjoy how they build their songs and the way they develop them. They should try and distance themselves from those influences I mentioned, but not by turning to a different path; rather build away from it, to create their own route. Following what they do on The Chameleon Defect is a good start.
I find this to be a powerful and interesting album. I recommend this to fans of Pain Of Salvation and Deadsoul Tribe and also to anyone who wants to hear a good slice of well done dark metal. This is an album I’ll come back to often for more listens.