Sun Of The Endless Night – Life… A Tragedy Tainted By Malevolence
Release Date: 26/11/2021
Running Time: 49:24
Review by Beth Jones
Sun Of The Endless Night, or SOTEN as I shall now refer to them, are a UK-based Progressive Thrash band who were originally meant to be just a studio project. However, demand was so great for them to perform live, that band mastermind, Ade Stokes (Stampin’ Ground/ Suicide Watch) decided to recruit enough people to make live shows possible, and take the band out to the loving crowds. Their first performance was at 2021’s Beermageddon festival, which I was lucky enough to witness. It was by far one of the performances of the weekend, and instantly got me hooked on their brand of Old-School Thrash with added oomph! So, when I discovered they were releasing an album, I jumped in the queue to get a chance to review it.
Now I say added oomph, but what I mean is a whole new breed of Thrash that’s just a hell of a lot more exciting than the run of the mill Old-School sounds that, once you’ve heard them once, you’ve heard them a thousand times. I’m going to label SOTEN’s Thrash as Kitchen Sink Thrash – it has the classic thundering rhythms and riffs, and the gruff and punishing vocals, provided by Si Cobb. But it’s also got technicality and progressive elements that take it way out of the realms of run of the mill. And it explores things like classically orchestrated introductions that wouldn’t be out of place on a banging Symphonic Death album, alongside acoustic sections, spoken word samples, and some monstrous soloing, which almost push the boundaries of Classic Heavy Metal/ Power Metal! It really is a mixed bag – a bit like Liquorice Allsorts, but without the disappointment of liquorice!
Thematically, the clue to the contents of this album is in the title – “Life… A Tragedy Tainted By Malevolence”. An angry and bitter picture of the twisted times we live in, on a planet populated with species seemingly intent on pushing the self-destruct button. Again this gives it a very current feel.
I’m finding it very difficult to see anything to criticise about this album to be honest. It’s got everything. Raw fucking crunchiness that you can bang you head to, some superb musicianship, and technical twists that make you smile, delicate and intricate sections that are completely unexpected, but wholly intriguing and charming, and well thought out and structured songs that don’t overstay their welcome. My only criticism is there are a couple of times that the drums sounded slightly out of whack with the guitars. But it’s only ever so slightly, and can be forgiven because it gives it a more authentic and real quality, which is often lost with perfect production… And I am the last person I thought I would hear saying that, because I’m super fussy about production. Oh, and the last track fades out… Tut, tut.
These guys really are a band to watch – exciting times are afoot, my friends, exciting times I tell you – the world might be going to shit, but at least we have damn fine music to go down to!!
01. Open skies, closed minds
02. Who let the night in?
03. Where there is god there is nothing
04. Once upon a death
05. Sun of the endless night – 536ce
06. Darkness is falling (for the human race)
07. The Holocene has ended
08. Beyond the reason of man
09. Take comfort in war
10. Full disclosure
11. Forest of dreams
12. Sun of the endless night (Lord of the Frost mix)
Si Cobb – Vocals
Ade Stokes – Guitar
Jim Saunders – Guitar
Ian Glasper – Bass
Colin Baker – Drums
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