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Storm at Sunrise - The Suffering CD (album) cover

THE SUFFERING

Storm at Sunrise

 

Heavy Prog

4.00 | 2 ratings

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ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Two years after their first record, "Storm at Sunrise" prepared another high energetic hard/prog rock album called "The Suffering". Compared to previous release there is one change in band's line-up: bassist John Chesterfield was replaced by Kiley "Barney" Wolf. But did it change group's sound? Not at all! In fact they could issue this album as 2CD set together with "Garden Of Forgotten Ideals" and nobody would find a difference in style. But for sure I don't complain about their stagnation and complete lack of "progression" 'cos I received exactly what I was hoping for - bunch of enjoyable organ-driven songs, heavily rooted in classic 70s rock. Let's listen to them one by one:

1. "You Don't Know" - from the beginning we know what kind of journey is awaiting us. The album begins and "Storm at Sunrise" without any introduction starts to bang our head with heavy organ & guitar riff. Vocals are as always a bit weak but it doesn't matter, they really suit this kind of style (I know I already said it before...). This track is very fast-tempo and whole middle section is - as usual - occupied by very long, ripping organ solos, where Gryder's instrument sounds sharp as a razor. And don't forget extremely groovy Moog synthesizer solo too!

2. "Everything Sucks" - another good rocker with screaming vocal and thundering Hammond B3. Soloing section has brilliant bass-driven rhythm and organ/guitar soloing sounds perfect on such background. Near the end of the song there are some rather lame sounding radio/TV voices which announce some disasters etc., but don't skip right now 'cos after this section there is another swirling Gryder's solo!

3. "Blood On The Horizon" - one of the weakest songs here. Very repetitive bass and rhythmic organ don't help at all. Thankfully we can still enjoy good organ and wah-wah style guitar solo.

4. "Cycle Of Misery" - much better composition than the previous one. Groovy, stomping rhythm and passionate vocal delivery followed by hard rock guitar solo. But the best starts from 2:45 minute when tempo suddenly changes and band plays Gothic/horror-like motif with extremely dark, distorted organ and loud mellotron eruptions. This thrilling part is followed by catharsis guitar and organ solos. One of the most "prog" tracks on "The Suffering".

5. "There I Said It" - sounds like generic hard rock a la Deep Purple in their weakest, uninspired days. It's the shortest song but fortunately Gryder and Myers had enough time to deliver couple of good solos here. (Song finishes very sudden so don't be surprised)

6. "Man, That's A Drag" - this one starts with atmospheric, calm acoustic guitar/mellotron intro. Really unexpected beginning. But after 1 minute they come back to their trademark organ/guitar bashing. Fully enjoyable track with rather catchy melody and above standard Hammond and guitar soloing. Doesn't drag even a little :-).

7. "Timewarp" - the only real instrumental composition performed by "Storm At Sunrise"(I don't count 1 minute "Introduction" from their debut). Really fantastic piece of music. Gryder's swirling organ solos, Myers heavy electric guitar support and Wolf's bass work are phenomenal here. You can feel that they had real fun while recording this staff. I also love proggy Moog solo here!

8. "Closure" - good, standard heavy prog track with a bit repetitive bass lines. Splendid organ/guitar interludes in the middle. Sounds like Lord and Blackmore in their highdays.

9. "The 'I Hate The Blues' Blues" - surely it isn't blues. And by the way why they would play blues...if the hate it?! Anyway it's okayish hard rock song with some crazy Hammond and guitar solos.

10. "Victims Of The Status Quo" - I don't like the beginning too much. Too fast, repetitive guitar and over-screamed Gryder's voice. I like when around 2 minute tempo changes and we can enjoy very good Hammond/guitar interludes. In the end Dave presents ultra fast jazzy organ solo and he sound like Jimmy Smith/Larry Young hybrid after overuse of hallucinogen mushrooms! (Oh man, what a metaphor ;-)

11. "Woman" - this song is more in the late 60' psychedelic pop/rock vain. Rather catchy and straightforward staff. Fine, blistering B3 solo in the end.

12. "The Suffering" - and finally we have truly progressive epic - more than 14 minutes long titled composition full of 70s prog trademarks. It begins with nearly 2 minutes long mellow intro with acoustic guitar and flute sounds produced on Dave's mighty mellotron. Then whole band explodes with bombastic Hammond and guitar battles based on Kiley's machine-like, fat bass tones. After that we have short vocal section followed by sudden tempo change, heavy guitar solo spot and rising of doom-metal like atmosphere with scary mellotron eruptions. Another mood change and we're in the middle of Hammond organ orgasmic soloing, where Gryder truly goes mad. This guy really reminds me Vincent Crane a lot. About 11 minute this great keyboard player entertains us again with splendid mellotron waves. As a coda to this suite we're surprised with melancholic Grand piano/acoustic guitar/mellotron closing section.

To sum up: last recording of "Storm At Sunrise" is a very enjoyable effort. Just like their debut album I highly recommend it to all classic hard rock and prog rock fans of such bands as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Birth Control, Led Zeppelin, Atomic Rooster, Black Sabbath, Bloodrock and Frumpy. You can expect non-stop orgy of roaring electric organs (just like in their previous record, every song has minimum one Hammond solo!), thundering guitars, stomping drums and groovy bass lines. If you like such staff, I also recommend (Just like in my review of their 1st album) such retro-prog bands: BigElf, Wicked Minds, Black Bonzo, Cosmic Nomads, Standarte, The Divine Baze Orchestra, The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, Darediablo, Spiritual Beggars, Hammers of Misfortune, Archangel, Mikromidas, Siena Root, Blood Of The Sun (this one with Dave Gryder on organ duties) and many others.

Without doubt it's another 4,5 stars record for me.

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |

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