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ALBUM REVIEW: The Sun Never Set ‘Self-Titled’

Sleeve front

Post-hardcore has always had the tendency to deliver unparalleled beauty in some of the most emotionally devastating ways possible. Taking Back Sunday’s debut album rips your heart out. Brand New plays with your emotions, and do not even get me started on the feelings that Thrice invokes. Bands have an added strength when they are of the heavier persuasion yet also manage to pull off the emotionally devastating songs. The Amity Affliction and Underoath both deliver some devastatingly beautiful yet also senselessly brutal songs – for post-hardcore bands at least.

British newcomers, The Sun Never Set, continue that tradition of devastating beauty with the added twist of earth-shattering heaviness. They deliver aural catharsis from behind towering walls of sonic aggression. Screeching guitar riffs are waylaid by burly-looking down-tuned guitar riffs which pile-drive their way through the soaring melody of “Artforms” to deliver well-placed sucker-drums to your now throbbing ear-drums. Furious and off-kilter drumming sets a rapid tempo to accompany this sonic aggression. Harsh vocals rip their way through these walls – harsh enough to maintain a sense of aggression and heaviness yet not harsh enough as to fall into the realms of incomprehensible growls. If that happened – the beauty of the band would be lost.

Their beauty lies in their ability to combine the haunting melody of post-hardcore with the brutal aggression of metal-core. Critics have aptly dubbed the band to be “post-metal.” For once, I agree with this label – I am firm critic of the concept of extensive sub-genres. The band falls into neither post-hardcore nor metal-core but rather sits awkwardly in the middle like the red-headed middle child. Despite this, they have settled quote comfortably into creating a sound that can only be described as being the aural equivalent of a nuclear wasteland. Their music provoke feelings of devastation yet it has this haunting beauty to it. There are moments when the guitars drop out and you’re left with only a delicate piano melody, only for the guitars to kick back in again and roundhouse kick you in the throat.

The Sun Never Set are probably not content with only releasing one EP to much fan-fare and then fading into the background like some insignificant one EP wonder. I believe they’re going to be around for much longer than then. With music that can rival already well-established bands – The Sun Never Set has a bright future ahead of, especially if the sun never sets for them.

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Craig Roxburgh

I hail from the sunny city of Cape Town. Also known to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. When I'm not hunched up over my laptop looking for music and indulging in social media, you can find me tentatively playing horror games, roaming the streets on foot, reading books and probably dancing like a deranged penguin

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