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Dying Sun - Transcendence CD (album) cover

TRANSCENDENCE

Dying Sun

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.95 | 3 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A brutal squall

Dying Sun are an atmospheric industrial doom band from Maryland who are certainly an underappreciated gem in their genre--that was a common theme among some of the genre bloggers I read while researching this group. Some were astonished this album did not get more attention and put it on a shelf with artists like October Tide or Daylight Dies. While I don't profess a deep knowledge of the experimental or extreme metal genres it reminded me of things like Pelican, Morningside, but even heavier. There was also a great clarity of vision obvious to this recording, both thematically and technically. Confidence abounds in the playing and in the creation of their unique, claustrophobic sound.

"Some albums are very carefully produced so each instrument can be clearly heard, Dying Sun does the exact opposite. There are so many elements at work here it's almost absurd... The monolithic band takes front and center, but all around them synths, strings, monastic chants, vocals and instruments are given extra post-production so they stutter and jitter, bouncing from side to side...the melodies are larger and more tidal, moving along as a unit. Each track's sound is the accumulation of all of its elements rather than separate melodies and harmonies." -excerpt from user SomeGuyDude, Sputnik Music

Bingo. I had to include those thoughts from another reviewer because he nails it so well. We are always hailing bands that separate everything so each instrument is clearly heard. Within seconds of starting this recording it jumped at me that the very opposite was intended here. It was mixed in such an impenetrable way that everything is smashed together and drowning each other...death by saturation. Everything is layered so densely that you can pick out almost nothing on first listen. Musically a pure squall of sound fury, massive and devastating, provoking feelings of utter darkness and unease. The vocals are screaming and yet barely audible at times. Heavy guitar chords ringing on and weaved in harmonies. Plenty of little intricacies around the edges to keep it interesting, but even those are buried and you may miss them if not paying attention.

The music moves at a glacial pace, always trudging along, deliberate. Occasionally there are breather moments where things pool briefly and pause, though the doom remains. As things sink in there is almost strange tranquility- your brain begins to break down those layers a bit, and you can hear the music underneath. Tranquility may be the wrong word, but there is some kind of dark beauty underneath it all. This is an album not for metal fans wanting to rock so much as appreciate an ambient, almost post-rock kind of experience, letting the album wash over you. It doesn't rock you, it just plows you under. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, check it out. I'd love to hear some of our metal experts give this a spin and review it.

Far from casual listening "Transcendence" is a challenge of aural endurance, at least early on until one adapts to their approach. One of the finer metal albums I've heard in some time...and perfect cover art.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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