As The Sun Falls – Where The Silence Reigns
Release Date: 13/10/23
Running Time: 20:43
Review by Oli Gonzalez
Question. Which nation consistently produces ridiculously strong metal bands, in particular those of the melodic-death metal variety? Probably a question without an answer, though Finland would certainly be in that conversation. Insomnium, Wolfheart, Wintersun – just to name a few. If you’re into any of them, I would highly recommend As The Sun Falls (ASTF), today’s artist in review. They’re on the eve of a new release, “Where The Silence Reigns”, right on the back of a European tour this summer, and having racked up support slots with the likes of Kataklysm and Draconian in their 3 year history. Yes, only 3 years old, yet they certainly have a much more mature sound than you’d expect. They’ve set out on a mission to create traditional melodic-death metal but with more progressive and atmospheric elements. I was salivating at the prospect…
The first song, ‘The Wanderer’ starts off with a rather mysterious string instrumental passage. That provides something unique as well as having a more traditional folk feel to the sound. It’s not long before we’re brought into the modern era with a thunderous unity of bass, drums and guitar creating a brutal wall of sound. Speaking of brutal, Mikko’s vocal tone is hella impressive! Maybe losing some diction and clarity in the lyrics, but still that tone is demonic! I’m loving the combination of melodic-death and their own spin on things with their atmospheric elements. Perhaps a little long and drawn out at 8 minutes and 19 seconds though I must say, it’s certainly a pleasant listen.
‘Trees As My Gravestone’. Such a dark sounding title! The opening riffs and overall theme to the song is just as dark, in a slower pace and sorrow-filled vibe. This is achieved by the subtle background synths and simple yet brutally effective guitar leads in the forefront. To create that atmospheric feel, you need something simple like that for the listener to hone in on, and ASTF nail it here! The rhythm section caught my attention, in particular the almost waltz-style rhythm throughout the song and the half-beats earlier in the song. All to create a more unique texture and build ASTF’s unique sound. The slower more ambient passage was a delight too. With the spoken passage right in the middle giving a more cinematic feel as if it’s a movie scene. Great work. The piano at the end was pleasant, too. Could we have heard more of that throughout the song?
The title track and final track on this album, ‘Where The Silence Reigns’ is next. This is the more experimental of the three, especially with the use of synths and the ethereal female vocals early in the song. The soaring lead guitar is absolutely gorgeous too! No lyrics this time; an instrumental and a very good one at that.
This song sums up the album and band for me. Traditional melodic-death heaviness while the band stamps their own unique touch on things. Yet it doesn’t feel forced or trying too hard. It’s totally organic and works like a charm. Highly impressive. I do wonder, however, if the band are holding back a little bit. When will we hear a full-length album? Saying that, ASTF clearly have a winning formula here, a clear artistic vision, and are doing everything right in this business. They certainly have potential to go much further if they continue playing to their strengths. Then maybe, they can be up there in the conversation of Finland’s great metal exports.
01. The Wanderer
02. Trees As My Gravestone
03.Where The Silence Reigns
Mikko Voutilainen – Vocals
Jani Mikkänen – Guitars & Vocals
Lauri Unkila – Guitars
Oskar Englund – Bass
Paul Rytkönen – Drums
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