The Sun Explodes - Emergence [Album]

The Sun Explodes - Emergence [Album]

Self Released | "I have to applaud the band for having the balls to try something different"

Review 1513 Views
Last Edited by: Jack Stovin February 13th, 2012.

From reading the biography that came with this, I learned a two things, which I think would be useful to pass along. Firstly, I discovered that The Sun Explodes is a 5- piece ‘heavy rock’ band from Carlisle in Cumbria, and secondly, they would very much like to be massive now please. I say this because that is the only logical reason for using such obnoxious phrases as "make the jump from new kids on the block to your new favourite band."

That is not to say that Emergence is by any stretch of the imagination a bad record, in fact, for what it is and for what the band are aiming to do, it is very good and expertly executed. It is just unfortunate, mainly for me, that most of it is an aggregation of my least favourite styles of popular music.

The whole album has a Muse meets metal by way of electronica sort of vibe, and intro track ‘Emergence’ demonstrates this perfectly, with Matt Bellamy-esque vocals layered under Euro-metal guitars and arpeggiated synth. ‘Honour Bound’ continues this, with some nice contrasting dynamics and tempos thrown in, and background screams straight from early 2000’s bands like Finch. The use of autotune on the lead vocals throughout this album is something that I would really question as an aesthetic choice, because after watching some live videos, it’s clear that the guy can pull off the soaring vocal lines live, so adding autotune only serves to give the impression that he can’t, and was something that niggled away at the back of my mind all the way through the album.

In terms of other standouts, ‘We’re Not Soldiers’ is suitably epic and makes nice use of a piano outro, and ‘Line One’ makes some nicely experimental use of the synth. In all though, with this album I get the impression that The Sun Explodes aren’t quite sure what kind of band they want to be yet, as what is on display here is too heavy to have the widespread appeal of mainstream prog-popper in the vein of Muse or Coheed and Cambria, but the vocals are to clean and poppy to find them much acceptance within the metal community, and it kind of sits in a weird middle ground, containing elements of a number of genres but not particularly belonging to any of them.

While this may be a bad thing in terms of overall appeal, I have to applaud the band for having the balls to try something different, and it should speak volumes that they earned my respect, if not unadoring fandom, despite clashing violently with my own musical preferences. This is because in spite of anything negative I might have said, The Sun Explodes don’t sound like anything else doing the rounds at the moment, and even for that, they deserve a moment of your time.

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