Maryland’s Dying Sun are a new prospect on our radars with their debut full-length Transcendence after two EPs released down through the years. Occupying a middle road between post metal and atmospheric doom, Dying Sun are a band totally immersed in melancholy.
The drab and dreary artwork with its cold dark shades of grey and black and an ominous red sun in the distance serves as a perfect mood setter for the gloomy aural climes held within its eight expansive tracks.
When discussing this vein of metal Neurosis are a band that often pop up but such is their influence, it’s difficult not to hear that influence in practice here with Dying Sun. There’s a great deal of heft in the riffs with dense and lethargic guitars ruling the order but there is also an affecting emotional might within each of these compositions.
The vocals, which dance from different tones and timbres, carry this emotive feel whether it’s with bellowing roars or melancholic croons, or even the strange industrial-tinged moan that can be heard on different moments throughout the record. Despite these disparate elements, Dying Sun maintain a very solid flow for the record without it ever becoming disjointed.
This is mostly down to the guitars and ambient keyboard that stick to a consistent theme throughout. The rhythm is a hazy miasma of dense guitars while spectral, almost ghostly clean leads gloss over, creating an altogether entrancing atmosphere.
For the most part the band has avoided any of the clichés like obvious crescendos that you could see coming from a mile away. ‘Of Failing Flesh’ bucks this trend with swelling verses that eventually give way to uncharacteristically searing guitars that wither out into harrowing piano-led verses that are reminiscent of Anathema, save for the wretched vocals.
‘We Don’t Belong’ is a semi-acoustic song that strips the Dying Sun MO down to its core but only as a brief reprieve and breather before the title track, the curtain call. Brooding, lethargic riffing and desperate sounding vocals are a mainstay of this track. The final composition epitomises everything that makes this record interesting. Slow crawling doom riffs come avalanching in, like something Mourning Beloveth would have written in practice one day, while utterly agonising vocals ring out with the rather appropriate lyrics “the last breath I take” being particularly harrowing and thus encapsulating Transcendence’s tone and mood perfectly but it’s counteracted by a gorgeously melodic but no less morose lead guitar riff.
Dying Sun have sculpted out a rather impressive first album with Transcendence. Sadly, it may fall under the radar for many but this is certainly a band worth the 51 minutes that the album runs.