Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Sun Worship - "Pale Dawn" (Album Review)

By: TJ Kliebhan

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 06/05/2016
Label: Golden Antenna Records


The German trio has never sounded more in sync or delivered a more cohesive project than “Pale Dawn”. The band excels at accomplishing what they envisioned as total authenticity, free of the typical pitfalls or clichés. In rejecting peer influence, Sun Worship has created a record that sees the band toying with a new formula worthy of emulation itself.

“Pale Dawn” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Pale Dawn
2). Lichtenburg Figure
3). Naiad
4). Perihelion

The Review:
Europe exports so much black metal that it continues to be a daunting task consuming it all even with modern technology. With each subsequent release German act Sun Worship have done an increasingly more effective job distinguishing themselves as a band bringing unique ideas to the black metal and shoegaze sound, a style in need of a fresh jolt. Their 2014 record, “Elder Giants” was a bit of a coming out party for the band that generated excitement for this follow-up. Spreading four tracks over thirty-seven minutes “Pale Dawn” refuses to slow down nor subscribe to the tropes that so many bands attempting this blackgaze style cheaply employ.
Pale Dawn” succeeds just as much on what the album does not do as what it succeeds in accomplishing. So often artists in blackgaze feel the need to drastically change tempos, use pretty tones, or field recordings of the local religious zealot or the intercom at an airport. Sun Worship does not do any of those things. The Germans are through and through a metal band, not a post-rock or shoegaze band. Sun Worship has stated in the past they disregard the extrinsic clichés of black metal such as corpse paint and they refuse to let predictability infiltrate their music too. “Pale Dawn” is very much still as dense and mesmerizing as any shoegaze record can be, but there is nothing in the way of the band ripping through its riffs.
Sun Worship sets an unwavering pace from the beginning to the end of the record. There are no let ups through the course these four 7 to 11 minute tracks, they are filled with blast beats and heavy speedy riffs.  Pale Dawn” is undoubtedly void of a large dynamic range. Post-Rock derives it’s effectiveness from slower melodies juxtaposed with explosions of sound, texture, color, and energy. Sun Worship elects not to use any of those techniques and they really do not need them. The riffs are good enough and the band displays enough shades of grey and black to keep the sound varied. The vocals are mixed brilliantly on this record and elicit a dark tortured feeling on the listeners. The vocals should sound low-fi enough to satisfy purists, yet there is enough range to measure different vocal inflections. The vocals are mixed relatively lowly, but keep a nice clean sound to them despite Lars Enneson and Felix-Florian Tödtloff’s gruff delivery. The ending chants of the final track “Perihelion” are the only deviation from this formula and have a powerful effect due to the pummeling first thirty-five minutes.
The German trio has never sounded more in sync or delivered a more cohesive project than “Pale Dawn”. The band excels at accomplishing what they envisioned as total authenticity, free of the typical pitfalls or clichés. In rejecting peer influence, Sun Worship has created a record that sees the band toying with a new formula worthy of emulation itself.
Pale Dawn” is available here
Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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