When this debut album by German/Austrian band Glare of The Sun was offered up for review I couldn’t resist taking a listen. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a band that have been described as shoegazy, dreamy, epic with a massive hammer of doom! I actually know very little about the band themselves. Research has proven scarce (not too much of a surprise, here at Moshville Times we always strive to bring you the best new bands first) but what we do know is that the recently formed band is a collaboration between members and ex-members of Zombie Inc, Collapse 7 and Ghouls Come knocking amongst others.
So, what about the album itself? Could it possibly live up to my expectations? Those who are regular readers of Moshville Times will know that I expect a lot from this type of album. In their own press release they say that they want their music to create space for the listener to be able to create their own interpretation. I am not expecting singles on here but more of a journey, can it engage me and become part of the landscape – a soundscape to the monotony of the day?
The album opens with mellow and ambient bird song so when the first song proper hits in I am instantly blown away. From the intro piece this wasn’t what I was expecting. I am listening to this again on the train from London to Leeds and if I thought I was just going to get moody and retrospective doom then I am certainly in for a surprise. “One Step Nothing” is a huge heavy doom rocker and it’s fantastic. It instantly has my attention by the way it blasts in and surprises me. The vocal style is heavy also but fits perfectly. The track itself slowly meanders away from the heavy doom and we get a middle section that is little bit more shoegazy before those demonic vocals sweep back in and really raise the temperature of the song.
Following this intense opening, “Extinction” is more what I was expecting – haunting and mellow, with a cello slowly crying. Its more of a gentle and expansive post rock opening, and allows you to drift into the track more. For me, I imagine a slow walk across plains, a bid for survival as I listen to this track. What does it mean to you? It’s an epic soundscape and probably one of my favourite moments of the album.
Stylistically it is not only doom present here but the vocals at times; like for example the whispered lyrics of “Circle” which are more goth rock. For me the whole album is a cross between heavy doom, goth rock, an almost death metal vibe combined with some excellent post rock moments. With a mix as dark, poignant and at times lethal as this, the album simply cannot fail to take you on a journey, inside yourself and with Glare of the Sun.
I am a sucker for the more post rock and spacious moments on the album. I like the emptiness that can be found in the voids; something that is in itself a rare talent; to say more by not saying anything; allowing the listener to somehow always be looking beyond the confines of your world to see what else is out there. What Glare of the Sun do well is, with the dynamics of the song and the album, create a period of quiet reflection paired with an epic and intense crescendo that doesn’t feel laboured; when the void returns, you welcome it.
Another favourite track on the album is “Degeneration” with melodically sung lyrics and a low burning rock beginning. It reminds me of Pearl Jam in some of their darker moments. This doesn’t last, naturally. The demon with Glare of The Sun is almost guaranteed to rise but with the combination of the sung verses and intense choruses, we have a single here.
So Glare of the Sun may have appeared out of nowhere but the lasting impression that Soil leaves is intense – draining at times, and energetic at others. It is an epic heavy doom blast of incredible dynamics, post rock journeys and an emptiness that is vast but allows you, the listener, to make your own story. Let’s hope that this is the first of many great accolades to come for Glare of the Sun.
Soil is released on January 27th, 2017