Review Summary: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet.
After a long, grueling day of trolling melodic death metal fans on facebook I suddenly had the urge for some melodic death metal. A hard day of heckling weaklings online can make a man hungry. And for my insatiable hunger I turned to a 1994 demo by the Finnish band "At Dawn They Sleep" to fill my belly. Yes, At Dawn They Sleep will do splendidly. MWHUAHHHHH!
This is by far one of the most exciting melodic death metal releases to have come out in the pre "The Gallery" era and it's not just because the keyboards are dynamic as ***. Well, that's a huge part of it. SILENCE! Let me continue. Featuring several awesome keyboard effects, one is transported from Dracula's castle to a grand circus outside King Arthur's court before finally arriving to the Mirkwood elven ceremony. The dynamism continues as these Finnish harbingers of hard core folking evolve into instrumental interludes. You got your clean guitar melodies, you got your acoustic guitar and you even have a bit of cello thrown in for good measure. It's like a god damn mythical forest communion for vampires and elves alike. Basking under the crimson moonlight the elves and vampires passionately embrace one another like tragic, star-crossed Shakespearean characters who will never see each other again after the night of passion ends. Tension is high, testosterone is higher, and love is highest of all as their bodies, minds and hearts entwine emotionally, physically and spiritually. The elves and vampires are one.....
As for the "death metal" aspect to Red Sun, At Dawn They Sleep construct their own melancholy riff symphony. Guitars are heavy and chug away at a moderate tempo while allowing room for the heartwarming melodies, harmonies and acoustics to further romanticize the spellbinding atmosphere. Vocals are performed in a traditional hoarse growling manner akin to At The Gates. These vocals demonstrate the pain of a lovelorn man who to this point in time has never met his true love. Women have come and women have gone but he longs only for his one true soulmate. A woman who can melt even the iciest most cynical depths of his soul. The anguished vocals compliment the grand majesty of the keyboards and guitars in spectacular fashion. There is sadness, there is happiness and there is hope in this music. One may fall but one will stand right back up and take the next step forward to achieve his or her goal. That is the beautiful nature of humanity. The man knows one day he will meet his true love and then in this life and the next they will be together eternally.
For twenty six minutes you are presented with some exceptionally creative melodic death metal. Now, production values are low and musicianship is quite raw but that just adds to the authenticity of the music. The music is strong and the emotions are stronger. Featuring a nice balance of melody and aggression and dynamic shades of light and dark contrast, "Red Sun" is a perfect musical entry for all those hardened yet romantic true metallers out there who conceal their inner warmness and desire for true love with the near impenetrable daedric armor. It's ok, let your guard down, tear down those castle walls that you have barricaded your heart with. Embrace the power of love and light.