Across the Sun
Pestilence & Rapture EP

I dug the debut self released demo from this Portland metal act, and on their 6 song follow up, they have shown lots of improvement to their modern take on metal that includes lots of sweeping, epic synths, breakdowns and dual melody laden metalcore.

Admittedly, this music is for a pretty niche group, but for those of you that like Killswitch Engage, imagine Howard Jones’ vocals (both growled and clean), mixed with burly yet melodic metalcore and drenched in almost symphonic black metal synths- not gimmicky injections here and there but full on, full time sweeping orchestration. Again the now defunct Prosthetic Records act Burn In Silence comes to mind with the synth use, but where Burn In Silence were a more angular Meshuggah inspired act, Across the Sun’s back bone of metal is far more rooted in cantering melodic death metal and a touch of rumbling deathcore.

I’m sure by now most of you are thinking ‘great- another act for Sumerian Records’, and in truth that would be a good fit (as would Prosthetic Records) , but Across the Sun have that very hard to define ‘It’ factor that makes their songs stick. Vocalist Brandon Davis has a great range, especially his clean croons that are neither emo or wimpy and his growls range from excepted rasps and deep growls. However, it’s the keys of Shane Murray that make Across the Sun stick out. They never come across as gimmicky or forced and tracks like “May Silence Keep You”, the very KsE styled chorus of “Ardent Optimist” and the epic title track end up as surprisingly deep, catchy and memorable Dimmu Borgir meets KsE mash ups rather than a trendy modern Hot Topic flash in the pan.

In my opinion, the only reason the band hasn’t blown up yet is they really don’t have a concrete audience and I can see multiple sets of metal fans unsure about the bands intentions. The nu black metal fans such as the Abigail Williams and Sothis set will be perturbed by the bands KsE-isms, and the metalcore set may not be sure what to make of the keyboards that are far more than random beep and boops.

Either way, I enjoy this act a lot, and hope the rest of the more mainstream metal world starts to take notice.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 8th, 2009


  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Man I just don’t know………I haven’t heard this band so I’ll not start my snobbery yet, but I haven’t heard a metalcore band with a keyboard player that sounded good to me.

    For some reason I just can’t hear black metal keys and metalcore music and think that they mesh well at all.

    It just sounds so…..American.

    Seriously, I think that’s what my problem is. I absolutely hate how all the American bands are nothing but bad imitators of the bands overseas that do it right.

    To be fair though, ever since “Reroute”, Anders Friden has been trying to do his best Jonathan Davis impersonation so I guess we’re kind of even.

    That’s a whole other rant though.

  2. Commented by: xbenx

    Nice, just gave this is a listen, band has got potential.

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