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Dark Suns - Existence

=Staff's pick

A Slumbering Portrait
The Euphoric Sense
Hear And The Element*
You, A Phantom Still*
Gently Bleeding
Abiding Space
Patterns Of Oblivion
One Endless Childish Day

Genre Dark Progressive Metal
Nico Knappe
Tracks 11
Mike Knappe
Runningtime 78 Min.
Torsten Wenzel
Label Prophecy Productions
Christoph Bornan
Release 21 Feb. 2005
Nico Knappe
Country Germany
Thomas Brener
Similar artists Anathema, Porcupine Tree

German band Dark Suns, hailing from Leipzig, deliver their third album and also the first one that is not self-financed. They have left their past with Death Metal and comes forth with an album filled with dreamlike soft progressive music with a strong goth sense, and that is as dark as their name implies. It is impossible to sort Dark Suns into any genre, as their music break several borders and even if they started as a death metal act there is not much left of that here. The roots can nevertheless be heard in some ways, but there are no growls or fast paced aggressiveness as far as the ear can hear, however there is a feeling that lies lurking beneath the surface that tells of their past.

Not familiar with the bands that Dark Suns are compared with in Anathema and Porcupine Tree but it is highly emotional music they play, music that demands your full attention when you are listening to it. As I listen I find vibes of goth metal with the melancholia and ambiences of death, as well as very calm, yet progressive, music that is far from heavy metal. And I can even go as far as to early Marillion when I draw comparisons, but the common red thread that bind it all together is the almost constant slow pace that very rarely passes the mid-tempo barrier. It sounds professional, as the band play as tight as necessary to make this music work and there is a dark feeling embracing it all, and not seldom with a more technical approach to the music making me hear vibes of music similar to Tool going on in the background.

They seem to be doing pretty good with the calm and emotional music, but it is when they put a little heaviness into it all I find it to be the most interesting, unfortunately that happens far to seldom. Often in melodic parts without vocals the pace is set just a little quicker and the progressive elements lift the music and as the riffs come out just a tiny bit heavier it is enough to make it actually rather worthwhile. Also with the many of the slower parts it sounds really great, and especially when there are parts with piano involved, but there is far too much of the slow parts. Even if its not bad, it becomes an overdose with slowness and what feels like uninspired parts for me. Another weak point is the pale vocals that sound emotional all right, but are not strong enough for their dark music, and when the flow is lost in their music it gets uninterestingrather quick and sadly it happens to often. You often wait for all hell to brake lose since it feels like the music is building up that point, but then it never happens and the awaited climax turns instead into an anticlimax.

But they possess a lot of power within their music even if it mostly goes rather slow with the pace, but it is the length that is the biggest problem. They have surely used the space on the disc to the maximum and perhaps they could have been a bit more sparing. Even if you can use the entire space you don't have to do so, shorter songs and perhaps less of them would have been better, and also some more intensity is my recommendation for the next album. To me, this album partially works really well but is a bit to sad, slow and depressive sounding in order for me to really like it.






4 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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