Sunless Rise - Unrevealed - (8.5/10)
Published on January 17, 2016
Sunless Rise surely achieved grand notoriety with their earlier promos, and have finally managed to get their ducks in a row and release Unrevealed, an album with a hell of a lot riding on its success. Among other things dependent on this album outside of the band themselves, how about the re-ignition of palpable interest in the style outside of entry level tooth-cutting? Unrevealed surely delivers a melodic whirlwind that resonates across memory, interspersed with moments of focused technical competence that contrasts with the coursing, pristine razor edge of the guitars. The super-polished final product is dripping in interstellar inclinations, at times sounding quite similar to Scar Symmetry’s latest record. Sunless Rise simply nail that lower key cinematic vibe on tunes like “Lost Path.”
There’s a palpable Bodom influence too, as the record sort oftreads paths blazed years ago by Follow the Reaper. The keyboards run the comprehensive gamut, lending atmospheric, pseudo-orchestral twinklings one moment, and digging deep with distorted, trance-esque leads ala Machinae Supremacy the next. The band effortlessly nails that particular nebular aesthetic that gives modern melodeath so much stylistic breathing room. There are a lot of similarities to fellow countrymen Solerrain and Sympuls-e; all three bands function on a similar wavelength, but Sunless Rise probably have the most fleshed out and dynamic appeal of the cadre. I can hear so many different bands in this as songs unfold, ranging from Naildown, to Soilwork and especially Skyfire. In regards to the latter, I’m detecting a lot of Spectral in here, especially when the band breaks down uplifting note progressions atop the listener, curtailed by cold atmospheric precipitation and the low-end grinding of the pianos.
The band’s technical flair is rhythmically configured and never truly pressed past the point of self parody. With that taken into consideration, the endless blasting is occasionally vapid and exhausting. For a band introduced to me a tech/melodeath, there is far less hollow shredding than I expected. In fact, the synths get far more time in the spotlight, burning the ivories via dextrous scale runs. I do wish that the keyboardist left more room to emote properly when cutting his leads, but it’s no big thing. Production is sterile and antiseptic sounding, very clean, processed and quantized. The riffs put this aesthetic to grand use, twisting into vile tremolo virility on “The Burnt and the Frozen,” which cuts deep and in seething bursts. Clean vocals are also used extensively, offsetting the already vibrant and savage growling. The cleans sounds a bit unsure of themselves, but are never used in a poorly configured proposition.
Unrevealed is certainly the real deal, and I enjoyed it for many of the same reasons I enjoyed Sympuls-e’s Solarstorm. Listening to Sunless Rise’s eponymous closer here, the comparisons are shockingly accurate. Both bands share that strong focus on driving, roiling leads propelled by a competent death metal surge that is prevalent in the Russian modern metal scene. This band might surprise many into knee-jerk subservience, but I’m not surprised this band kicks so much ass. Blissfully unconcerned about paying home to the genre’s progenitors, Sunless Rise might be on their way to becoming one of their own here on Unrevealed!