Tuesday 27 February 2018

Review: Second To Sun - The First Chapter

Russia’s Second to Sun adds to the continuing fragmentation of the extreme metal underground with a release that mixes elements of death, thrash and black metal, along with a healthy dose of groove intensity. The story of “The First Chapter” goes back to 2015 when the album was originally launched as an instrumental edition, but always striving for progress, the vocals by Gleb Sysoev were thrown in the mix.

The first three tracks of this ten-track full length provide good insight into the band’s ability to leverage different sub-genres at will. The opening “Spirit of Kusoto” immediately hurtles the listener into an atmospheric freight train followed by down-tuned almost Meshugah-esque riffs, just to take a turn towards more Scandinavian Black Metal approach. Sysoev is at the top of the game, providing razorsharp screams with lyrics sang in Russian. Second track “Me or Him” is outright blackened death punch, while the following “Land of the Fearless Birds” is black/death to the burnt core. Way cool how they are able to incorporate all of these sub-genres within a coherent whole. There is even a folk line during the chorus, adding yet another element to the overall real hodge-podge.

Heavy as concrete, Vladimir Lehtinen often uses subtle melodic guitar movements within the wall-of-sound maelstrom, making it easier to consume and less one-dimensional. Meanwhile, the vocals are delivered in a hearty roar, and keep well with the overall bludgeoning atmosphere. Highly recommended.

Get the album from Bandcamp here.

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