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Sunpath - Night Dream Call CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.00 | 4 ratings

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4 stars

My expectations were high on this second Sunpath album, since I liked their debut and the band announced that this one would be less Sieges Even like. Overall, this is definitely true, and it makes the band stronger than they were already. Some of the potential that could be heard in Acoustic Aphasia is showing through now.

Most striking is that Ralf Kierspel has grown as a singer. He brought his experience from Picture This when he joined in 2007, but now his voice has really been integrated with the band's music - the past two years were definitely well spent! I have to add here that the band has grown as composers as well.

Still there is some room for improvement, some of the longer tracks stay in the same mode a little too long. The 12 minute Names in the Mirror almost had me fooled because of that. It starts as a rock/metal track of the verse/chorus type. After six minutes, it goes into an Eloy (Silent Cries) like, almost symphonic mode. That could have come earlier, I had almost turned away from the track when that happened. I am glad I didn't though, despite this it is a very likeable track.

The best tracks on this album for me are easy to identify. Hometown, a track that starts out very quiet with vocals and guitar, and never becomes really heavy. It has a perfect build up, it's well sung and has great bass work as well. Second is the title track Night Dream Call, which is possibly the heaviest on the album. It shows that the band is capable of putting together a true metal wall of sound, without loosing melody, and interleaving that with more melodic, less 'brutal' parts. A small surprise in the form of a grunted verse, by Claudio Enzler of Stuttgart's death metal pride Sacrificium, is included as a bonus.

Third is Holyrood Park is worth mentioning, because it both illustrates how the band has grown composition wise, and what Ralf Kierspel is capable off as a vocalist. It's almost as strong as Hometown, mixing metal with more mellow rock and varied vocals. In some of the verses, there's even a hint of Jim Kerr in the latter.

Apart from these, Marianna is worth mentioning. A very powerful (not the same as heavy!) and well performed track, with verses taken from the poem Marianna by Andrew Lord Tennyson (written in 1830).

All in all, I believe Sunpath have made a big step forwards with this album. They can grow further, but this one beats Acoustic Aphasia for sure. I'll be ready for the next one, and maybe we'll see a joined gig with Feedforward in Amsterdam one day. It's still a pity the previous one got cancelled after Feedforward's drummer broke his arm.

Angelo | 4/5 |


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