Since 2011 Second To Sun released eight longplays, a couple of EPs, countless singles and it seems they don’t plan to stop because a year after Legacy was released they already deliver their new album named Leviathan.
I follow this band for something like five years and I really like how the band developed from instrumental project by Vladimir Lehtinen and Theodor Borovski to a full-fledged band. However, many said that when the vocalist Gleb Sysoev joined the band, Second To Sun lost its charm (and it’s not about Gleb himself but the presence of vocalist). On top of that, few years ago Vladimir said that he doesn’t see Second To Sun with vocals or on stage. Nevertheless, time move, things change and now Second To Sun play, record and perform with the next line-up: Vladimir Lehtinen (guitars, keys, music, lyrics), Theodor Borovski (drums), Gleb Sysoev (vocals), Max Sysoev (bass).
Yet, there are some constant things: here it’s a great, dark and eerie atmosphere, which the band’s music creates. It was present in all Second To Sun‘s album that I’ve heard (at least from The First Chapter for sure), instrumental or with vocals, and Leviathan isn’t exception.
In a new album the band stepped off the Groove Metal and focused on Scandinavian Black. However, the sound it doesn’t sounds like “classic”, markedly raw and dry Black Metal sound. The sound of Leviathan is extremely heavy and I’d dare to say, polished. If you ever heard Second To Sun earlier, this word will not be repulsive for you. If this album will be the first you hear from this band, let’s say it was recorded and mixed very professionally; in any case, the sound is a merit of the band’s mastermind Vladimir Lehtinen.
The album opens with a sound of an old vinyl, that’s how nine minutes long “Eerie” starts, creating an atmosphere slowly with dismal fingerpicking but after a minute it falls on the listener with all power of guitars, drums and infernal screams. The pace changes a couple of time through the song, the riff also and sometimes music fades but it doesn’t attempt the eerie atmosphere created by the band. There are some keyboards also, which just aggravate the situation. But the most important thing: once you immersed in this atmosphere, you won’t get back. A little less long “Leviathan” (eight minutes) even doesn’t tries to build the atmosphere gradually, crushing you with Black Metal tremolos and blast beats. Nevertheless, in a minute there are only keyboards left, the pace changed and that’s happens several times. In last two minutes of the song everything fades, leaving only indistinct guitar sounds. But, I guess, this song refers mostly to the previous Second To Sun albums.
“Marsch der Wolfe” is a mid-paced Black Metal, very dark and atmospheric, of course, with Gleb’s harrowing vocals. In the middle of the song some melody appears, catchy enough, but it doesn’t change the mood – the song still bleak and eerie but now it will be much harder to get it out of the head. The same happens in the next “The Emperor In Hell”: starting slow and dismal, the music continues with tremolo and blast beats: in the middle comes the melody, which takes all your attention and you just can’t get enough of the song.
“I Psychoanalyze My Ghost” steps away from Black Metal a little bit while keep some elements though. It quite smooth, built around the main riff and it captivates with it rhythm and dimension; silent synth help the song with it.
But the most impressive song in an album for me is “Shaitan”: it just unsentimentally takes the listener out of familiar routine and plunges him into its world, infinitely dark and eerie. Crushing drums, fast riffs and diabolical vocals are stunning and pulverizing at the same time. But in last two minutes the music changes sharply and there comes a splendid melody: from that moment you just can’t stop to push “replay”.
I don’t know how do they do it but Second To Sun nailed it one more time. Leviathan is a fierce, crushing, bleak ad infinitum and from time to time eerie album, where you can lose yourself easily. But the most important is that you will not want to get back. Brilliant!
Leviathan will be released on September, 29th.
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