Up and coming progressive, black/death metal outfit Second to Sun from Russia have recently reissued their debut album The First Chapter. The album was originally released in 2015 as an instrumental version, but the further progress and artistic vision by the mastermind and bassist / guitarist Vladimir Lehtinen brought the trio to the position of rearranging the original songs with the addition of vocals by Gleb Sysoev, who sings in Russian. Behind a drum kit is Fedor Borovsky.
Though I already dug the instrumental version of the album, the addition of vocals to this music gave the album what it lacked. In this setting, the ten-track release is the ideal opportunity for the band to showcase their abilities and expand their following.
This being officially their first release, it would seem only fitting for this band to dive headfirst into the challenge. On this front, Second to Sun have certainly not disappointed. The opening song “Spirit of Kusoto” is a great demonstration of this; about a minute in and the listener is presented with the first of many crushing down-tuned riffs on the record, transitioning into a an aggressive section boasting impressive riffs, growls and screams. The guitar work throughout the album is fantastic, and really shows off the heights of Lehtinen’s abilities. With a well-balanced combination of vocals, this first song is able to provide a lot of diversity. This impression echoes throughout the remaining nine songs, with each one feeling very well-rounded and complete.
The band fantastically blends together the modern approach to progressive metal (aka djent) and traditional black metal with addition of plethora atmospheric motifs and occasional folk excursions. If you ever wondered what would Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor sound like if put through the Meshuggah or Periphery thread, with a bit of Enslaved aside, wonder no more.
This record can be interpreted as no less than a stellar first attempt from a new band in the scene. It can be instantly noted that they’ve taken a brave and rare approach of putting out an album with no feeling of fatigue and force, and have produced ten songs, each feeling full and complete. Melody, brutality, and technicality constantly shine throughout in great balance, with increasingly epic riffs and solos, complicated drum patterns, and soaring choruses. For a virtually new band this can be easily overlooked. It is safe to say that most of The First Chapter acts as a testimony to what Second to Sun are truly capable of.
Back in November 2016, Second to Sun released another instrumental album titled Blackbound, and it’s kind of expected that this release also received a vocal treatment. Then whatever comes next this band will have my attention. And so should yours.
Visit Second to Sun on Bandcamp for the band’s full discography.