When Nu Metal collapsed under its own weight in the mid to late '00s, there was little in the way of new bands being signed that played the style. Some bands survived and have moved on to better pastures (see DISTURBED) others are clinging desperately to their wits (see DROWNING POOL), but rarely are there new ones. ENEMY OF THE SUN didn’t get the memo though. Luckily, they do add a few other genres to spice up their Nu Metal foundations with a little Groove, Thrash, and Progressive tendencies. Unluckily, more often than not, on their sophomore effort “Caedium,” the band is unable to brace the rapids of their own device and the music contained comes off as awkward.
Sounding like a combination of early SOULFLY and mid-era Nu Metal-influenced MACHINE HEAD, “Caedium” does its best to break out of the box with their music. With some Groove influenced riffs, acoustic breaks, windingly long Prog structured songs, and a duel vocal attack (singing and Max Cavalera-influenced barking) this band looks good on paper. They seem to push the boundaries and balance melodies with heaviness in ways that should create an intriguing blend. At times it does work. There are riffs that will get your head banging, vocal lines to sing along with, and some fun Prog change ups that work well. These moments are just inconsistent.
For a band that really wants to utilize their Progressive side, ENEMY OF THE SUN lacks the flow that makes Prog fun to listen to. With some of their Nu Metal attention deficiency tendencies they want to change up too quickly moving from a monstrous heavy riff into a slow acoustic break only to move onto something else within seconds. It’s jarring and awkward. They will hit a nice section and leave it for dead for the sake of changing it up. Parts come out of left field and disrupt the energy flux the band gets going.
The same goes for the vocal work. The vocals can hit some nice sing-a-long moments or some seriously sick guttural barking but will leave a line or pattern to change it up. It’s almost frustrating as a listener to catch something you want to run with and only have it pulled out from underneath you.
ENEMY OF THE SUN shows they have some nice potential in their sleeves, but “Caedium” needed to play it up more straightforward for their sound to gather any momentum. They overcomplicated the sound and style to the point of obscurity of direction and focus. The foundations of some great music are there, but it only comes in spurts on “Caedium."
Songs to check out: “Lithium," “Castaways In The N.W.O.," “Paradigm."
(Online November 17, 2010)