The Sun Explodes are a young English band from Carlisle and 'Emergence', a real Metallic maelstrom of styles and influences, is their first full length release.
It is an album that renders pigeonholing difficult because it takes its cues from so many sources. It has the ambience rippled majesty of Anathema and Muse, Dream Theatre's Metal prog and the fleeting piano led atmospherics of Coldplay and Elbow. All spiced with an intermittent and unnecessary shouty vocal shoehorned in for good measure.
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It is a proficient slab of progressive Metal that showcases the band's excellent capabilities. The song writing is solid, the musicianship is exemplary and the band has done a bang-up production job but what 'Emergence' lacks is soul and cohesion. Being a crack shot musician is ok but no amount of technical excellence will ever make up for lack of heart.
Harsh as this may seem however; 'Emergence' is by no means a bad album, having a gaggle of tracks that deserve special mention.
The sparse piano chill of 'Pandemonium' and the swirling grandeur of the title track serve to break up the relentless technical wizardry of the whole piece of which 'Honour Bound', 'Deadalive', 'Resplendence' and the epic 'We're Not Soldiers' are notable standouts.
These gifted youngsters are more than capable of developing any one of the many good ideas and influences displayed here for the next album and feasibly create something a bit special. In some ways, chucking everything into the melting pot of 'Emergence' has probably done this gang of young musical sharp shooters the world of good by offering them the chance to blow their artistic tanks.
So whilst the unyielding complexity may have rendered the album sounding a little samey, the next The Sun Explodes album should hopefully be a rather more focused and soulful affair that will probably sound bloody great whichever direction the band chooses to go in.
As it is 'Emergence' is a slow burner that deserves the replay button being pressed more than once.