CRIMSON SUN surprised us in 2015 with their debut album “Towards the Light” and a couple of outstanding shows as the support acts of bands like CAIN’S OFFERING and EPICA. The band had been quiet for a little while, working on a sophomore record “Fates,” which is finally ready to see the light of day on 24 January 2020.
“Fates” is not a concept album, but thematically, it deals with the fates and emotions of different people while making sense of the world around us in many different aspects.
The album opens up with the energetic “Beast Within”, a song inspired by CrossFit that definitely makes a good track to workout on. A great workout song has a good beat, inspiring lyrics, and helps make those sets fly by. Whether you like pop, country, hip hop, or rock, these genres all have some powerful tracks that will improve your workouts. With its pumping rhythms, catchy choruses and outrageous energy “Beast Within” will allow you to follow the rhythm to the song and work out with a pumping heart. “Virtual Reality” starts off with some synths, reminiscent of Tron, it then progresses into a melodic metal anthem with energetic riffs and poppy vocals.
“We Are One” was the first single to be released in support of the new album, and has a strong theme of overcoming obstacles together, referring to the band’s personal lives. The song shows a more mature CRIMSON SUN, with poppy elements, but still with the same attention for melodic elements and great progressions. “We Are One” is not only surprisingly catchy, but it also has some great surprises in there, like the sudden switch around the 3-minute mark, this moment is certainly unexpected but fits in beautifully with the rest of the song.
Things switch up a little bit as “The Prison” kicks in, which is one of my personal highlights of the album, as it leans a little bit more towards symphonic metal with grande orchestrations and more of a variety when it comes down to vocals. The album slows down with “Overcome,” which showcases a more emotional side of the band that is also really welcome change. The track transitions beautifully into the ambient intro of “Fate of Nora,” which picks up energy as it progresses.
“Trailblazer” starts off with a SABATON/NIGHTWISH-like riff and is perhaps the biggest surprise of the album for me. This is a fun track that has great energy and is also one of my personal highlights on the album. “Distant Stars” continues in a similar way, and has some great instrumental parts, even though at times I feel that the song is missing a little bit of energy. This is made up for in “Essence of Creation,” which starts with a pumping main riff with guitar and keyboards before Sini‘s powerful vocals kick in. It shows yet another side of the more mature CRIMSON SUN. The song is a bit heavier, has the same poppy elements incorporated in the sound, and has an outstanding positive atmosphere. Listening to a song with such an uplifting atmosphere will bring you instantly in a good mood.
“Last Day On Earth,” starts with a dramatic piano and strings intro, after which it continues in a mid-tempo epic track with pounding drums, outstanding orchestrations, emotive vocals, and grande passages. This might just be one of their best compositions ever made, meaning that “Fates” definitely ends in a great way.
The only thing that keeps me from loving “Fates” to the full maximum, is its production. While the production of their debut album “Towards the Light”, sounded more open, “Fates,” at times feels a bit more plastic and muddy. Poppy elements à la AMARANTHE have taken a more central role in CRIMSON SUN‘s sound, and as a result, they at times overpower Sini‘s vocal performance a little bit. The songs are fun and easy to listen to, there’s a lot of variety on the album, with energetic songs such as “Beast Within,” “Essence Of Creation,” and heavier songs such as “The Prison,” and “Trailblazer” and the epic “Last Day On Earth”. All-in-all “Fates” makes a great successor to the critically acclaimed “Towards the Light”. If you enjoy heavy riffs, unforgettable melodies, and catchy choruses you won’t be able to shake off for the next couple of days, then “Fates” will definitely be an album you will enjoy!
1. The Beast Within
2. Virtual Reality
3. We Are One
4. The Prison
6. Fate of Nora
8. Distant Stars
9. Essence of Creation
10. The Last Day On Earth
Sini Seppälä – Vocals
Joni Junnila – Guitars
Jukka Jauhiainen – Bass
Antti Rantavuo – Drums
Miikka Hujanen – Keyboards