Glare of the Sun
Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Doom/post-metal. I remember when doom was just Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Trouble. Now there’s post-metal doom, and post-something-or-other-core and the silly list of names used to describe bands goes on, and on, and on. No label will ever be as memorable as Nintendo-sword-metal though. However, I digress. Silly labels aside, I was equal parts amused and intrigued by Glare of the Sun’s bio which reads “Drown yourself into the deep sea of wide and heavenly guitars: dreamy, shoegazy, epic. But wait, the massive hammer of doom will hit you soon enough: unexpected, unprepared, merciless.”. Hammer of doom, huh? Ok that got my attention for sure even if it does suspiciously sound like something from the Gears of War game franchise.
This quintet features members and ex-members of lesser known bands such as Zombie Inc., Collapse 7 and Microtonner amongst others. Hailing from Salzburg, Austria (with some members also coming from neighbouring Germany), Glare of the Sun isn’t necessarily a unique snowflake in the realm of post-metal/doom, but they do know how to craft a decent tune. Forming in 2013, they’ve taken their time before unleashed their debut long player -Soil- and the final product certainly reflects a significant effort from the band in taking the time to hone their song writing skills. I guess when some of the other projects these guys have been involved in range from death metal to instrumental rock/electronica, when uniting with a common goal, things cannot be rushed. The end result certainly reflects the band’s patience and ability to focus on the end game.
The gentle, tweeting birds and clean guitar tones of the introduction piece dubbed “Awoken” in no way prepare you for the dense, distorted guitars and slow dirge tempo that ushers in “One Step Nothing”. It might pick up the pace a little towards the latter stages but it’s nothing more than a casual walk that feels like you’re making your way through thick foliage and undergrowth. Things do get a little intense with the furious pace during the final minute of “The Drowning and the Hush” but that is the only time throughout the entire 43 minutes of -Soil- that the metronome reaches well into the ranges of thrash tempos. Everything is slow and steady through and through.
There are some vintage names associated with this album as well. Glare of the Sun booked into Vato Loco Studios owned by Pungent Stench’s Martin Schirenc to record their debut and the booked master dial spinner Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Witherscape) to master the album’s eight songs. The end result is 42 minutes of post-doom metal or something akin to that description that will appeal to those who dwell within the diverse boundaries of post-metal/shoegaze/doom metal.
Whilst -Soil- might not set the world afire, when you keep in mind that it is the debut album from Glare of the Sun that falls within a genre that is already fairly heavily populated, it’s fair to say that -Soil- certainly demands a listen or three. This has the potential to be the start of something big and I for one will be keeping an my ear to the ground when it comes to Glare of the Sun.