From Jyväskylä Finland, DARK THE SUNS play a melodic but very energetic style of Gothic Metal. Another fine addition to the Firebox Records catalog, their debut album “In Darkness Comes Beauty” is a fairly solid ten tracks full of catchy rhythm guitars, melodic piano lines, and nicely contrasting smoothly growled and whispered vocals with a mid to somewhat up-tempo heavier sound.
Originating as the solo project of lead singer/guitarist Mikko Ojala in 2005, the atmosphere of the music is generally consistently faster and livelier than most Gothic Metal, and although it may have just a touch of the typically Finnish gloominess, there’s also a beautiful romantic feel to many of the songs as a result of the accompanying piano of Juha Kokkonen. Mikko’s growled vocal style is not too abrasive and his occasionally whispered singing also gives many of the songs a chance to ‘breathe’ a little.
The musicianship is certainly top notch with heavy guitar rhythms being at the forefront and adding a strong groove to all the songs. The piano playing is very tasty and never really dominates the music, instead just gently following along and helping create a somber atmosphere to what would otherwise be considered fairly standard Melodic Death Metal arrangements. The very distinct and rhythmical bass lines courtesy of Inka Tuomaala as well as subtle use of almost techno-style synthesizer effects also gives several of the songs a slightly dance music vibe. Don’t be too alarmed as it’s almost certainly never going to be playing at any trendy nightclubs, but it’s this modern almost pop side to many of the songs that is one of the more distinct and appealing characteristics of the music.
A few of my favorite tracks would include the opener “Reflections” with it’s alternating whispered and growled vocals, nice lead guitar melodies and strong driving feel of the choruses. The energy level picks up even more towards the end of the disc and a track like “Ghost Bridges” is another excellent if somewhat more aggressive number with its faster tempo and angrier sounding vocals.
I could only find one fault with the album and that is the distinct lack of variety. Many of the song arrangements appear to be essentially similar from track to track and even though the songs are all catchy and generally interesting, it does wear a bit and becomes somewhat less impressive after a while. It’s a shame they didn’t mix things up a little more as it would have made for a truly great album. As it stands, I can only say that it’s just good. Still, I enjoyed the album and think it would make a fine addition to fans of the Gothic Metal genre. Even those with an interest for more progressive-ish oriented Melodic Death Metal should check them out, as they are fairly heavy and able to hold their own. A pretty decent debut from DARK THE SUNS, and I’m sure that if this album is a good indicator of the talent in the band that they’ll be back with even better things in the future.
(Online March 8, 2008)