Sun Worship
Pale Dawn


4.0
excellent

Review

by Evok USER (30 Reviews)
December 11th, 2016 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: drenched in the white light of a frostbitten morning.

Germany really doesn't half-ass anything it sets out to do. Whether it be delicious beer, finely crafted automobiles, or as of late, black metal, there seems to be an unspoken yet all-encompassing standard of excellence the nation upholds itself to. With numerous flagship brethren putting out timeless works of cold, atmospheric magic on a seemingly annual basis, Sun Worship walk the auspicious path of black metal greatness without arrogance alongside many bands highly respected by the genre's tastemakers.

Sun Worship's sophmore LP, Pale Dawn, is a glimmering example of how to achieve the coniferous soundscapes of modern USBM without rehashing the notion that you need neofolk elements to cement the atmosphere within the realms of nature. Capturing the raw elements of Scandanvia's black metal of yore with the compositional genetics of the American black metal scene, Sun Worship may not be revolutionaries, but the pure honesty and passion in their sound is unmistakable and quite addictive. When Elder Giants was released in 2014, the waves of its unveiling were felt all the way across the atlantic. It was a masterpiece of modern black metal executed with a certain finesse and honed-in vision that constituted it as a near flawless work of art. Vivid and memorable, Pale Dawn does an admirable job at fulfilling the high expectations it's predecessor set.

Make no mistake, in lieu of its dramatic songwriting, this is a very straight-up affair that stands solely on the groundwork of traditional black metal aesthetics; swaths of layered, tremolo picked melodies wash over the elegant aggression of the drums like turbid northern winds ripping over a barren snowpack, with the anguished vocals infusing an essential, primal human element to the appreciation of nature's cold indifference to man's woes. So why is this par-the-course affair so special" Simple. It does everything it sets out to do without error. Perhaps it's the German roots, but its clear that each individual member of the band has invested tremendous energy and pride into their work. Never settling for monotony or plotless meandering, within each and every song is an unmistakable chemistry and maturity that never loses focus or lends itself to the negative stereotypes of its influences. There's no fat on the meat of this album, and running at a humble 37 minutes, it accomplishes what many atmospheric black metal albums fail to achieve in twice the runtime.

Although Pale Dawn is an album built on a foundation of atmospheric vision, its crowning achievement lies in its ability to be instantaneously memorable without becoming tiresome on repeated listens thanks to mesmerizingly tactile crescendos. The organic songwriting and seamless progression of it all is captivating and holds more than enough substance to stand the test of time. Sun Worship is a very talented group of musicians that boast the wisdom of restraint and an ear for superbly cohesive dynamics. The layered guitar work is charismatic and lusty with its ability to interlock melodies that almost act as an audial Rorschach test; revealing myriads of introspective and empowering revelations on every listen. Coupled with a brilliantly unpretentious but wholly admirable and well-thought drumming performance and well-mixed, anguished vocals, Pale Dawn is the type of album that stands high above the sum of its' individual parts.

One is hard-pressed to find a single moment on this album that drags or feels uninspired, yet the overwhelming sense of familiarity of it all could arguably be seen as a detriment. The wheel certainly hasn't been reinvented here, but nonetheless Pale Dawn stands as one of 2016's most captivating black metal releases, with Sun Worship now firmly cementing themselves as one of the genre's benchmark acts. If enjoy your black metal drenched in white light and passionate emotion that refuses to crawl into the realms of nihil, then Pale Dawn is a triumphant masterpiece of frenetic zeal that you surely won't want to miss out on.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Evok
December 11th 2016


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Perhaps its not the best review I've ever written but this needed one before years' end. Sun Worship is a real hidden gem in the black metal world imo.



Feedback welcomed as always!

Digging: M-Zine - Stalwart

zaruyache
December 11th 2016


19881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

not your best rating either





oo snappp

Digging: Grotesque - The Black Gate is Closed

Evok
December 11th 2016


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha i already knew you didnt dig this as much as i do. Definitely an album that appeals to me on many levels though!

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2016


11589 Comments


Great band, great album, great review

Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide

Evok
December 11th 2016


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks g!

Sevengill
December 11th 2016


8735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, even if I generally disagree. I got the promo of this expecting big things and just never felt compelled to write a review.

Digging: Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit

ZippaThaRippa
December 11th 2016


10459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah Elder Giants was better

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2016


11589 Comments


Nice dig Seven

Sevengill
December 11th 2016


8735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Scuro, it's one that took me about nine months too long to check out, haha.

Hawks
December 11th 2016


62643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review bro. I like the first album more, but this still rips hard.

Digging: Bastard Priest - Ghouls of the Endless Night

Deschutes
December 11th 2016


552 Comments


Yeah the first album is better, but this is still good. Way underrated here.

Digging: Torture Rack - Malefic Humiliation

CaptainDooRight
December 12th 2016


2589 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

book

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2016


11589 Comments


What holds this back for me is that they let building atmosphere get in the way of more interesting composition, everything sounds kinda floaty and similar. Still a great album but on a revisit I know why it didn't grab me very strongly.

Evok
December 12th 2016


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had drop it to a four. Not a strong as Elder Giants. This is why i shouldnt review stuff after drinking all day lol. Still love this album but its not a 4.5 realistically.

bnelso55
December 12th 2016


1320 Comments


Never heard of these guys. The review has me interested though, so I might give this a try.

DungeonBoy
December 12th 2016


4940 Comments


Jammed this once when it came out but relistening now. Definitely solid. Your review is also on point, I agree that this is nothing groundbreaking but it's a nice slab of atmospheric black metal. Some of the riffs drag, but can also lead to a hypnotic effect when in the right setting.

Digging: Vouna - Vouna

Evok
December 12th 2016


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely worth checking out ^ one of the years best bm imo

Evok
March 19th 2017


7597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goddamn I forgot how hard this album rips.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2017


11589 Comments


What a jam



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