The great thing about Second To Sun, is that they are refreshing. While the fact remains that they are a mixture of black and doom metal; I would definitely consider the experimentation here to be a factor. Not just in synthy instrumentals like “From Outer Space” but in some of the main riffs utilized in this performance, which you’ll notice instantly. I’ve always believed that music was melody and that’s what I’m getting here. I often hum along to these albums while I’m working, and no one can really tell that I’m listening to extreme metal because the melodies in general resemble classical more often than not. Listen to the opening and lead riffs on opener “We Are Not Alone” and try to tell me that there isn’t at least some sort of classical nature to that. Of course, second wave black metal was based in Norwegian folk anyway; so it makes perfect sense that these melodic harmonies would be apparent.
The vocalist is that of a goblin, which is great because Russian goblins need more work in the area. Ever since that giant hole to the abyss opened up, goblins have been pouring out of there as of recent and I’m glad to see that they’re getting the kind of work suitable for their talents. Static fuzz seems to mix with the goblin vocal touches on “Black Lines” which manages to mix melodic death metal notions in with speedier blackened efforts. You can definitely hear the folk influence in it. “Home” sounds a little bit gloomy, with a notable sense of gloom that halfway enters Lord Of The Rings territory in its majestic synths. Folk is poured in here as well, making for a sullen, albeit memorable performance. “The Owls” seems to continue that, but to a rather lengthy extent that truly shows it’s purpose later on in the piece. At least they’re trying to innovate. “The Train 1702” is one of the only cuts that doesn’t sound morose, feeling more like an angsty black metal with strong grooves and some light prog sections to make it stand out. For a disc that is mostly so forlorn, this is a welcome change of pace and I hope that they’re continue to branch out in this fashion. Next came “New World Order” which has a rather odd repeating opening riff structure – almost like that of a twisted ringtone. The resulting piece ultimately becomes the album’s most crushing piece and it does so with a finesse and level of tweaking that I would have never expected. If you listen to one song from this album, check out this cut for sure – that’s single territory fellas, this one will make your band stand out. People are either going to love it or hate it, but they’re definitely going to remember it. Then we have, “To Live” in which twinkling synths duel with crunchy grooves and ferocious black metal sections. There’s just so much to be had here at a structural level that I find it mind-boggling. “We Are Alone” ends the disc on a rather creepy node, probably not what you would want to hear during the end credits of a horror film. Or perhaps a tragic drama, which seems to fit more with the tone of this record.
All in all, I quite enjoyed nearly every inch of The Walk and would recommend it if you’re looking for a disc that offers something more than the standard-fare mixtures of black, death and doom that so many bands offer but fail to innovate beyond. Second To Sun are going out of their way to add an extra hint of weirdness to this performance. They didn’t have to do that, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed the experience as much if they hadn’t. Some of these little tweaks are like ear candy, Easter Eggs in an audio format. Ultimately, that’s rather cool and I think you’ll find the same level of enjoyment here.
I additionally have to state that I’m glad The Walk is not completely filled with gloom and doom. Necessary fire is utilized to break up the pace. We need that in music today, because as I’ve been doing my digging into the classics, I’ve found that great bands don’t write the same song every time. Seriously folks, you really have to dig into Queen to understand that a band can have more than one node, one atmosphere. It’s fine if you want to write on one node, but just try to keep it interesting – something that other bands are having a tough time with in the metal underground. That being said, Second To Sun features many different experiences and shouldn’t steer bored listeners in the wrong direction.
(9 Tracks, 43:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)