Second To Sun – The First Chapter

STS_RingMaster Review

At the beginning of 2015, we had the opportunity to check out the Three Fairy Tales EP and a couple of singles around it from Russian metallers Second To Sun. It was an instrumental experience and adventure which just lit our ears and imagination. Now as the year begins to wind down, another proposition from the trio in the shape of a new album has ruffled the mental feathers and ruptured a rich vein of pleasure. The First Chapter is a nine track exploration of the broadest tapestry of metal styles and invention, carrying on from where the EP and certainly singles left off but breeding new experimental and ferocious captivation.

Second To Sun began back in 2012, formed by guitarist/keyboardist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. The departure of the latter saw the band as a one man project for a while before bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borovsky linked up with Klimov-Lehtinen. Debut album Based On A True Story was released in 2013 to welcoming ears and comments with the Three Fairy Tales EP coming towards the end of the following year, its unveiling drawing greater attention and in turn acclaim. Now the trio unleash The First Chapter, an encounter with a title suggesting it is a climax to the first part of the Second To Sun ascent, and tracks that are opening up a new soundscape and emprise of the band’s composing and sound.

Second To Sun - The First Chapter (2015) _RingMaster Review   As mentioned the Second To Sun sound is a ravenous kaleidoscope of sound described as “modern metal with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music.” It is a thick and rich tapestry that draws on every strain of extreme and melodic hues you can wish for, creating immersive creative escapades inspired by the history and life of the Finno-Ugrian nations within Eurasia. It is also a highly evocative incitement as shown by album opener Spirit Of Kusoto. Inspired by a holy grove of the Mari people with very deep sacral meaning and serving as a “church”, the track places the imagination in the heart of the forest with the strains of Mari folk song Sun rises lighting ears. It is a potent suggestiveness which soon erupts into a more primal and rugged proposal, rhythms a predatory incitement as the guitar spews caustic hues. Almost as quickly a calm and beauty takes over as the bass continues to skilfully grumble; this another brief exploit in the evolving character and landscape of the track. The piece is riveting, an insight to a dark and bright place with danger and warmth almost fighting over themselves to dominate but ultimately uniting in one fluid enthralment as folkish as it is blackened, as mesmeric as it is intimidating.

Red Snow is an instantly more raw and carnivorous place, a torrent of hungry aggressive sound effectively representing the feel and climate of the tale of nine young men who died at the infamous Dyatlov Pass. You almost feel the cold, the starkness, and turmoil endured as rhythms and sonic imagination create a barbarous and compelling provocation throughout but the track is also as potent in its echo of the rural folkish landscape as voices and percussion amongst many flavours emerge. The track is as rousingly bewitching as its predecessor, a canvas for thoughts to interpret and use to cast their own take on events inspiring the piece before the dark, haunting beauty of Me or Him takes over to seduce and inflame the senses and imagination. Simultaneously mesmeric and bedlamic, each contrast superbly cultured and honed by the band, the track is a predator of sound with a gripping maelstrom of emotion and ideation woven into an irresistible trespass of diversely brewed incitement.

Through the djent, death metal twisted Land of the Fearless Birds and the oppressively enjoyable The Blood Libel, band and album only tighten their grip on body and appetite. The first is another fearsomely predacious offering with bloodied melodies and a psyche stirring atmosphere whilst its successor opens up a cauldron of black/death bred heresy with welcomingly invasive enterprise. Both tracks in their own way, impressively stalk ears and thoughts whilst casting an almost hypnotic lure through the scintillating invention and craft of all members. The imagination of guitar and keys from Klimov-Lehtinen is especially rousing, though arousal of instincts and passions are just as powerfully nurtured by the bass imagination of Danilevsky and the resourceful swings and beats of Borovsky.

Narčat in contrast to the previous pair bounds in like a warrior, bold and creatively tenacious like the young woman inspiring its heart. The track is an undiluted assault of energy, aggression, and a masterfully entwined diversity of metallic and melodic styles, all fused into a bracing tempest matched in its own individual storm by Virgo Mitt. Within the track though, an elegant beauty within a melodic oasis emerges to seduce and shape the tale being conjured in thoughts. The inspiration to the piece of music is as fascinating as the sound, and we suggest certainly checking out the background to all tracks via Second To Sun’s bandcamp to gain even more richness to the experience of the songs.

Completed by excellent bonus track Chokk Kapper, a spiny affair of riffs and rhythms branching out with intoxicating sonic and melodic intrigue and invention, and a demo version of Narčat, The First Chapter is a stirring and forcibly impressive provocateur of ears and thoughts, not forgetting pleasure. As progressive and avant-garde in as many ways as it is technical and extreme, the album confirms suggestions made by previous releases, that Second To Sun is one uniquely thrilling proposition.

The First Chapter is available now digitally and on CD via http://secondtosun.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/second2sun   http://www.secondtosun.net/

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2105

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Second To Sun – Three Fairy Tales EP / Spirit Of Kusoto

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When a band lists someone like the brilliant French experimental / avant-garde metallers Pryapisme as an influence we have to sit up and be seriously intrigued, and so it was with Russian band Second To Sun and their recent Three Fairy Tales EP and following singles. The trio did not disappoint either, unleashing their own distinct and furiously flavoursome instrumental alchemy across enthralling tracks thrilling and igniting the senses. Describing themselves as playing “modern and hardcore music with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music”, it only gives a hint of their impressively diverse and seamlessly sculpted tapestry of sound. Arguably it is not as psyche stretching as the music of their French inspirations, but every song has a creative drama and refreshing unpredictability, not forgetting striking craft, which has ears and imagination in bliss.

Second To Sun began in 2012, created by guitarist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. First EP The God’s Favourite Whore was the band’s first declaration but followed soon after by the departure of Vishnyakov. Though initially working alone, Klimov-Lehtinen eventually brought bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borowski into the band with the trio unveiling debut album Based On A True Story in 2013. Last year saw the release of Three Fairy Tales and subsequently two singles ending with Spirit Of Kusoto last December, all awakening an increasingly broader spotlight on the exhilarating sound of the band beyond Russian borders.

Three Fairy Tales opens with the outstanding theatre of The Trapper, a track swiftly building a tall sonic narrative of blackened intrigue and melodic toxicity. With rhythms swiping with Album artfully flexed muscles, the track is an imposing and gripping protagonist from its first breath but soon showing its penchant for slipping into unexpected and fluidly evolved detours. For the main though the song is a predatory confrontation, sparking with the creative fury of a Meshuggah and the raw toxins of a Dodheimsgard. As it evolves and expands its temptation, a kaleidoscope of imaginative adventure and creative drama enters the resourceful tempest; keys spurting out bedlamic expression and guitars a virulent sonic seduction which leaves ears and emotions basking in the dark adventure. The track provides music you can imagine fitting twenty first century interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen tales and darker gothic persuasions.

     The electronica seeded Merämaa comes next with bubbly synth lit vivacity to its intimidating yet bewitching shadows. Stabbing bass and guitar bait is a staggered lure within the almost folkish revelry of the piece whilst intrusive rhythms align and twist their tempting to it all with almost St Vitus dance like voracity. The song flows and erupts with inescapable contagion, providing a festival of sound and intensity which is as threatening as it is invigorating.

Closing track Barmaley lies somewhere between the previous two, its heavier antagonistic rhythms and uncompromising intensity colluding with feverishly coloured and melodically fuelled tenacity. As the first pair of songs, it is an invitation to senses and imagination to run with their own provocative tales and exploits, providing all the raw and thrilling material for dark tales and cinematic exploits to be conjured. There is a feel of Obsidian Kingdom to the track in some ways too ensuring the song makes for another irresistible emprise to greedily devour.

a2375341812_2 Released just before Christmas, the bands new single Spirit Of Kusoto unveils another mesmeric and corrosive side to Second To Sun’s sound and imagination. It is soaker in a harsher and less forgiving texture and presence than those songs on the EP but still infuses a veining of sonic radiance and melodic devilry to temper and ignite the savagery elsewhere. At times almost punkish in its hardcore causticity, the track feverishly worms under the skin and scores the psyche with consummate ease.

We have not mentioned the excellent track Narčat, a single coming between the two above releases, but it also, as Second To Sun itself, is a definite recommendation…actually make that a must for all avant-garde and adventurous metal fans.

The Three FairyTales and Spirit Of Kusoto are available @ http://secondtosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.secondtosun.net/

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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