Ecuador is not exactly the first country that comes to mind when one thinks about rock or metal, yet this is the country from which hard rock/heavy metal act BLACK SUN hails. Established in 2000, this metal trio has already released three full-length studio albums and has shared the stage with the likes of EDGUY, UDO, FIREWIND, and JUDAS PRIEST. Their new EP, “Silent Enemy,” was released on 4 September 2020 via Rockshots Records.
After parting ways with their longtime lead singer, Chemel Neme, who can be heard on all the band’s studio efforts including 2017’s “The Puppeteer,” BLACK SUN had to find alternative ways of bringing their new music to life. The silver lining to this dire situation came from producer Nino Laurenne (HEVISAURUS, AMORPHIS, THE RASMUS) who brought in Finnish guest musicians to complete the line-up and lend their voices to the tracks. Constructed as a concept album, all the seven tracks on the EP are connected to the story, with three of them acting as music scores (intro, interlude, and outro). To make the sonic experience complete, the EP includes a special short film based on the narrative written by BLACK SUN and Topias Kupiainen (ARION).
Starting on ominous tones with a slight SF edge to them, mysterious sounding “Moebius” is the instrumental intro to the story. The track sets a very emotional and intense atmosphere, which engages the listeners and makes them curious about what’s to come. Second single “Resist” features SMACKBOUND vocalist Netta Laurenne on lead vocals. It’s a powerful and upbeat rock anthem with a lot of emotions coming from the delivery and lyrics that talk about pushing through difficult situations. The chorus is simple yet effective, staying with the listeners long after the music is over, while the guitar solo is punchy and direct. The hard rock ’80s feel of this track is hard to shake off, but merges so well with the chugging guitars, pounding drums, and powerful vocals; it’s quite a savory tune. Switching gears, “Terror Zone” is an aggressive and energetic number reminiscent of JUDAS PRIEST, especially considering Henning Basse’s [FIREWIND] commanding vocal delivery. The guitars are fierce yet melodic, while the drums and bass coalesce into a thunderous foundation above which the vocals soar to high heavens, making for quite an explosive piece. The guitar and drum work in the instrumental “Dark Mirror” are powerful and driving as the two instruments work in tandem to create a fast-paced rhythm that sometimes veers into melodic territory, while other times it is just crushing and unforgiving, but always technical and precise. The contrast between melodic guitar lines and heavy drums parts is the heartbeat of this track, as JF Aguirre and ENSIFERUM’s Petri Lindroos perform some class-act guitar solos that only spice up the composition.
Dark ambient piece “No Return” reprises some elements from “Moebius” and links the previous tracks with the last part of the story, while providing some thrilling moments along the way. First single “Still Alive” is the Finnish all-stars line-up metal anthem of the EP, as it features the vocals talents of Tony Kakko [SONATA ARCTICA], Pasi Rantanen [THINDERSTONE], Noora Louhimo [BATTLE BEAST], Asim Searah [WINTERSUN, DAMNATION PLAN, TRVE CVLT CLVB[, Mr. Lordi [Lordi], Netta Laurenne [SMACKBOUND], and Jukka Pelkonen [OMNIUM GATHERIUM], all capped off by an amazing guitar solo by none other than Elias Viljanen [SONATA ARCTICA]. The drum work is solid throughout and the guitars lines crisscross with the vocals providing melody and swing to the music. This melodic and catchy metal piece is like a light in the darkness of the previous tracks, up-tempo and uplifting, neatly complementing “Resist.” Piano-driven “Finale” closes the journey on melancholic notes sustained by an intense atmosphere.
This EP is set to mark a new chapter in BLACK SUN’s career and if their next offering will be anywhere near the standard imposed by “Silent Enemy,” then the band is on a sure path to success. Fans of classic heavy metal as well as such bands like JUDAS PRIEST, HELLOWEEN, or GAMMA RAY will surely find this EP to be right up their musical alley.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Terror Zone
- Dark Mirror
- No Return
- Still Alive
Christopher Gruenberg – Guitars
Nicolás Estrada – Drums
Santiago Salem – Bass
Album pre order:https://bit.ly/blacksun_cdvd
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