Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The all consuming blood-red sun - 95%

androdion, January 3rd, 2012

The fiery giant is stepping just an inch above the water, falling down or rising up depending on how you look at it. Is it dusk or it is dawn? Does it signal the beginning of another day or the closing of all days? After a close look at this album the answer is unmistakable and unavoidable as the true nature of this red star demonstrates all its destructive force and fury. It is dawn alright, the last one that humanity will ever witness as the infuriated heavenly body rises up in its atomic shimmer, spreading radiation sickness and bombarding you with the end of all that you know and love.

This is it, the final step in the band’s metamorphosis, from another old school death metal band into an entity that will endure in the history books as the harbinger of sorrow and the herald of destruction. Dawn has reaped and sown the teachings of their peers and refined their songwriting style into a personal display of fury and bereavement where pain reigns supreme. Henke’s vocal delivery can only be described as stunning or superb, as his words carry the weight of the world and all its pain and sorrow with them. The production of the album is astonishing and gives a sense of fullness from all the instruments, the bass in particular has a great sound and is mixed very well, the drums sound as if they’re tearing the world apart with each struck of the kit, and the guitars spew some of the best riffs of the band’s career.

The band had significantly shifted their songwriting style from the demo days, with their debut showing what they had in their minds and hearts, but it was the previous EP that made clear the direction in which the band was heading for. It was on that work that the new sound of the band started showing itself but it is here on Slaughtersun that its true nature is finally revealed and unleashed upon us. With seven tracks all clocking over eight minutes, apart from the small atmospheric interlude “To Archieve The Ancestral Powers”, this is a record that really demands your attention and one that might seem like a cumbersome task to endure at first. But fear not because boredom isn’t something you’ll find here, especially if you’ve enjoyed the past efforts by the band.

The opening track, “The Knell And The World”, shows exactly what this album is all about with a soothing and atmospheric intro, accordingly knelling forth that amazing riff that makes for over of nine minutes of intense emotional cleansing. Their writing style of wielding a simple tremolo-picked chord progression and turning it into an enduring and overbearing riff that unrelentingly goes on for minutes is found here fully matured, leaving you in a state nothing short of full desperation as you gaze at the end of the Earth. That riff is repeated and twisted constantly, coiling itself and stretching farther away always to return to its original stance as if it was an enraged viper biting you repeatedly only to be back on its attacking position again and again. If there ever was a song defined by a riff then this is the apex of that descriptor, and if you enjoy this song and its composition you’ll be in for a treat with the rest of the album as it follows the same pattern found here on every song, all of them being filled with amazing main riffs and beautiful chord progressions that struck you as staggering and haunting.

There’s hardly any time to recover before “Falcula” strikes you in a seemingly unapologetic fury with another ten minutes of this simple formula that yet grips and grows on you, turning you into an adept, making you gaze at the violent destruction of all that is beautiful in a sea of blood and flames and you can’t seem to stop looking, you find yourself enthralled in all this apocalyptic fury and it’s very hard to let go of that feeling. This is only enhanced by the lyrics and vocal delivery, as Henke words out in his own wrathful and painful screams “No hope… No future!”.

All tracks in this album are of great quality and all show a delicate balance between aggression and melancholy, with the concept of the album being well exemplified by any of them. I could as well describe any other track here in the same poetic and fatalistic way that I did with the two behemoths that open the album, but I won’t as there’s no need of it. I can still point out some of my favourites moments though; “Ride The Wings Of Pestilence” with its intricate initial riff and bass leads that break into melodic sections, “The Aphelion Deserts” which features spiteful vocals and an amazing breakdown with a great thrashing section, “Stalker's Blessing” and its flowing melody that could melt an iceberg before it explodes in vicious anger, and “Malediction Murder” where Henke spews forth one of the most mesmerizing chorus of his career.

Slaughtersun has as many lovers as detractors and while the later will call this overlong and overblown I feel inclined to respectfully disagree with those arguments, although I can understand them. One thing that I do agree is that this album is particularly moody and does feel like an improved experience when you’re going through rough times in your life. It’s a bit doomy in its apocalyptic end of the world concept and carries a melancholic sentiment of self-reproach with it, making it a daunting task to listen to for the first time if you’re not in the appropriate state of mind. Nevertheless this is not an album to be ignored because of that and there will be a moment in your life where it will fit like a glove, that’s when you’ll either fall in love with it or dismiss it entirely. I happen to be in the first category and I can only say that this album warrants your attention and more so, it deserves it.