In 7.6 Billion years the Earth will be taken by the sun. The expanding sun will eventually engulf Mercury and Venus with Mars just avoiding the zone of destruction. It was initially thought that the Earth would avoid vaporisation as well due to the sun losing too much mass and gravitational grip. However scientists have now revealed that we will be orbiting too close eventually drifting into the suns path.
Picture what these final few decades will involve; the oceans at boiling point, the planet dripping violence and decay, the sky is crying and the land is melting, with whats left of humanity uniting; war and greed will reign while the souls of the perished rise on the sunset. This is what Chicago band Taken By The Sun deliver on their debut self titled album.
The album was engineered by Sandford Parker (Minsk, Nachtmystium, Corrections House) and mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room, its 8 tracks over 43 minutes that stands firmly in the realm left by Isis, with hints of Neurosis’ depth of sludge and the deft doom advances of Inter Arma. These genres are packed to the brim nowadays; what sets the contenders apart from the pack is the ability to create a distinguished mood; the ability to transition between soft and dark without sounding forced and the ability to truly sound genuine. Taken By The Sun tick all these boxes and take matters a step further with impeccable musicianship.
War torn opener ‘Scars’ addresses you face on with a colossal riff and battle cries, drawing you in immediately with force, the guitar tones when unleashed are distorted, fuzz laden and sludge drenched, a crunch throttle approach to ‘Scars & Demons Tempt the Dying Man with Crowns’ makes for a powerful follow up; they are largely tracks packed full of aggression painted over merging melodies with crisp enough beauty not allowing any chance of monotony.
The vocals have a rapacious potency and vigour to them, handled by main vocalist Kris Ziemlo and backing by guitarists Patrick Auclair and Mark Cichra, they are rough and course at times, with a doom like croon at just the right occasions; however it’s the screams of bitter violent anguish that conveys the mood so very well. They are used sparingly, but sound like a black panther at times, quite reminiscent of Jesse Leach (Killswitch Engage) on Alive or Just Breathing.
Repeat listening is a must, there are clever nuances spread throughout that reveal themselves the more you invest in this, like the whimpering effect preceding the guitar solo in ‘Detached’ it only lasts a few seconds, but the moment is placed perfectly with the intertwining melodies flailing around it. There is country twang on the solo twist of ‘Fuse’ and a blues progression in the latter half of ‘Red’, its diversity at its best and very brave writing for a debut album. Its not quite perfect, a few of these songs have been around for a few years and just sound slightly over-written at times.
Creativity in the songwriting, constantly shifting dynamics, natural progressions and intensity throughout makes for a very formidable debut release. No-one will be around when the Earth is taken by the sun, but its the human condition to worry about the end of the world, just look into this before its too late.
Taken By The Sun Track Listing:
2. Demons Tempt the Dying Man with Crowns
7. Confessions of an Opium Eater