Known mainly in South America for opening for big heavy metal legends, Ecuadorian BLACK SUN have returned to the metal scene with a new concept EP, “Silent Enemy,” set for release on September 4th, 2020, via Rockshots Records. Having recently parted ways with their vocalist, the new album features guest vocalists from such well-known acts as SONATA ARCTICA, SMACKBOUND, and BATTLE BEAST to fill the gap.
The first song is an intro, “Moebius,” that’s very synth-driven and ambient/atmospheric. It leads nicely into the more hard rock -styled “Resist” that features Netta Laurenne [SMACKBOUND] on lead vocals. The song itself is fairly traditional heavy metal in feel, with straightforward drumming and a fairly predictable progression; however, Laurenne‘s voice takes the reins to a chugging rhythm and drives the song forward in the strong chorus with her beautiful whisky sound. I also feel like I’m hearing a bit of Tony Kakko [SONATA ARCTICA] in the very end.
Going into fiercer power metal territory, “Terror Zone” features the more wailing, Halford-ian high-pitched vocals of Henning Basse [FIREWIND] as well as some pretty good guitar soloing. “Dark Mirror” is an instrumental metal track that is likewise driven by the guitar solos, courtesy of Petri Lindroos [ENSIFERUM] and band guitarist JF Aguirre. This is a pretty creative track and fairly wild and furious, definitely worthy of being on your instrumental metal playlist. “No Return” is likewise an instrumental interlude that leads the album and its story onward to better things.
“Still Alive” may be familiar already to some, as the album’s biggest and most powerful track, seeing as how it not only features Laurenne and Kakko, but also BATTLE BEAST‘s Noora Louhimo, Mr. Lordi of LORDI, and more. Jukka Pelkonen of OMNIUM GATHERUM fame contributes some decent growling to this big collaborative piece, adding some depth and grit, and there are a few more solos in here as well… really, this is a big song and definitely worth checking out just to hear all these artists together in one place.
The outro, the overtly-titled “Finale,” is meant to be the instrumental finale, or credit song, after the movie (or in this case, album) has concluded. Tying in some pre-existing riffs, namely the one from the “I feel alive” part in “Still Alive,” this last song ties things up nicely, on a conclusive note.
Perhaps this EP’s biggest flaw is also its strength, which is that the guest vocalists are really what make the music. Having never listened to BLACK SUN prior to this, I don’t know how they sounded with their old vocalist but this new album has just a tiny hint of opera metal greatness in it due to the varied and powerful vocalists who have contributed their sound to the music and story. While the music itself is good and very heavy metal, it does loan a lot from other bands without really feeling like it has a sound of its own (take the JUDAS PRIEST sound of “Terror Zone” for example). Nevertheless, it is still a very good EP and a lot of fun to listen to, so power metal fans should definitely check this out.
Written by Bear Wiseman
- Terror Zone
- Dark Mirror
- No Return
- Still Alive