March 2019 saw the fiery debut of Helsinki-based melodic death metallers PROGENY OF SUN, with their self-titled EP. The band was formed in 2017 by instrumentalist Jaakko Hautamäki and vocalist Niko Aromaa. Later in 2019 guitarist Joni Kiviniemi, drummer Juha Peura and new vocalist Tuomo Tolkki joined, and now, with a full line-up, PROGENY OF SUN are hard at work on their first full-length album.
Lyrically, the songs on this EP deal with topics such as Satanism, religion, freedom, individuality, but also mental health issues and even some political aspects. Musically, the six songs are a balanced mix of melodic death metal with elements of black metal and atmospheric passages that make for a very engaging listening experience. What impressed me was the diversity of the sonic spectrum that is on display here, as each song is different from the rest but also how neat everything flows together, as well as Niko Aromaa’s vocal delivery, which fits perfectly with the backing instrumental. As such, some songs are more fast-paced, some more mellow and atmospheric, and some more in-your-face and energetic.
Opener “Fable God is Dead’ starts on gentle notes but soon enough the chugging guitars, pounding drums and harsh vocals take over and the listener is in for one Hell of a ride. The dynamics of the vocals on this song, and on the EP in general, remind me of Dani Filth’s antics in CRADLE OF FILTH (mostly) as the vocal style varies from deep growls to sharp shrills, which is really engaging and fun to listen to. Otherwise, the song has ups and downs, in the sense that it has some mellow parts in between some really heavy moments, and I really like the build-ups. Melodeath anthem “Futile Conversion” opens with some ominous tones which merge superbly with the very spooky vocal delivery, while the subdued backing choirs (vocalization) add atmosphere and texture to the song. “Birthright Obligation” is a more up-tempo and energetic track that can rightfully be considered a headbanger’s dream, despite its somewhat slower moments, and short run time. It’s a rather catchy tune that showcases the band’s ability to write diverse songs while still keeping the trademark elements on display.
With “Darkest Corners of Black” the band veers a bit into doom metal territory, but it soon picks up speed and power before slowing down again. The vocals in this song sound very creepy and intense which gives the track a very dramatic vibe. “Natural Leaders” is again very energetic and in your face, with powerful vocals and guitars. The samples used, add a theatrical element to the mix while the sparse keys give off an SF vibe. It’s a weird song, structurally speaking, with a lot of twists and turns, but it flows together incredibly well. Actually, as I have already pointed out, the whole EP has twists and turns but also a beautiful flow because of the way the songs are put together, and the way the tracklist is put together. The closing track “End of Zen” is quite melodic as it starts off with a serene ambiance and beautiful clean vocals that soon give way to heavier instrumental. Once again the way the slower parts and the more aggressive passages are blended together is a testimony to the band’s creativity and ingenuity.
This is by far one of the best debut EPs I have listened to. It strikes a perfect balance between atmospheric beauty and melodeath aggressiveness that few other (established!) bands can achieve. There is a lot of potential for greatness here, and I can’t wait to see PROGENY OF SUN develop their sound and style on their subsequent releases.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Fable God is Dead
- Futile Conversion
- Birthright Obligation
- Darkest Corners of Black
- Natural Leaders
- End of Zen
Jaakko Hautamäki – all instruments
Niko Aromaa – vocals
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