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Sunrise rages hard...pity about the vocals - 77%

krozza, November 2nd, 2004

Poland and extreme music go hand in hand. Hell, the number of Death Metal bands that have appeared since the rise of Vader is mind blowing. Sure, the scene is strong, yet it seems that Poland and Death Metal is the only associative link we seem to hear about. What about other forms of heavy music? Well, for starters you might like to wrap your ears around Warsaw based five piece by the name of Sunrise. They’re a straightedge hardcore metal band. They’re not the most innovative band going around but their attitude and metallic approach is most admirable.

Sunrise have been around since 1995, and with four previous releases under three different label, their plight has been a difficult and rocky one and once again highlights the complications involved in trying to break out of the confines of their home country’s borders (Poland is one Europe’s poorest countries). It is for this reason alone that you have to admire the success that Vader have been able to garner.

‘Traces to Nowhere’ is a 9-track, 30-minute run through of some pretty energetic metal angst. Forget any calls you might read about Sunrise being some sort of European meets American Metalcore hybrid; they are about as far removed from that sound as Ozzy Osborne is from being sober. Sunrise’s music is delivered from a hardcore base, played with a punk style attitude while incorporating a healthy dose of metallic Slayer-like riffage. It is this combination that will have fans of each sound finding some common ground. And while Sunrise wouldn’t admit to rewriting the extreme music bible, rated on a purely energy/attitude scale, ‘Traces to Nowhere’ works pretty well. Furthermore, at 30 minutes, you can’t accuse Sunrise of overstaying their welcome either.

I’m impressed with the sound of this album too. Producer Robert Srzednicki has captured a real raw, live feel throughout, the guitars of both Daniel and Piotr are spiteful and Adam’s bass tones are highly audible in the mix. Arek’s drumming is also most impressive, if a little basic in structure at times. However, Sunrise does have a weak link and it’s a critical one. As good as the band comes together musically, the atonal vocal performance of Pat tends to grate. He’s not unlistenable, but his style is more base line ‘yelling’ rather than being harsh and aggressive with conviction. As a result, ‘Traces’ lacks power. There is energy to burn on this disc, but with a more convincing and versatile vocalist, I feel the compositions written here could have been taken to another level.

Vocal problems aside, ‘Traces to Nowhere’ rages like a bull to a red rag. Don’t expect clean vocal choruses or melodic leads here folks, this is Hardcore/Punk meets Thrash Metal. They’ve got some ways to go, but for something other than Death Metal coming out of Poland, Sunrise might just be the band you’re looking for.