Review: Sunrise “Equilibria” [Music Gym Records]

Review: Sunrise “Equilibria” [Music Gym Records]

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Sunrise is not that kind of band that pleases their crowd with frequent releases: their last album Absolute Clarity was released in 2016 and the newest single “The Bridge Across Infinity” only four years later, in 2020. Soon after the band announced a crowdfunding campaign, which was successfully finished in the beginning of May 2021. And here it comes, the result of five years of waiting – Sunrise‘s fourth longplay named Equilibria.

It can’t be said, however, that musicians were idle these five years: Daria and Konstantin ‘Laars’ Naumenko were working on Delfinia album; at the same time Daria was busy with her solo project Novi, while Konstantin worked with Polish band Titanium, Slovak-Czech formation Symphonity and toured Europe with Ukrainian Iron Maiden tribute band Blood Brothers. Let’s not forget 2020 with all problems that he brought. Nevertheless, they also worked on new Sunrise‘s songs and searched for new musicians at the same time – yeah, steady line-up isn’t something inherent for this band, anyway, in this records we can hear the work from four guitarists.

But let’s get back to the music: Equilibria is much more experimental album than its predecessor Absolute Clarity. Classic Power Metal still prevails here, of course, but in some songs some Groove or even Progressive can be heard clearly, some tracks sound more like Modern Metal and in lyrical and tragic “Call My Name” Daria played bandura (Ukrainian tradition folk instrument), which fits the song greatly.

The opening “Wings Of The Dreamer” and “We Are The Fire” are typical Power Metal in all its best: fast pace, potent drums, tough riffs and lots of keyboards. These songs have smooth verses and catchy melodic choruses. Rapid Power Metal piece “Life Is A Journey” is melodic as well, where Mayo Petranin’s growls (Symphonity, Castaway) and Konstantin’s high vocals are contrasting in a really good way.

“Unbroken Dreams” and “The Bridge Across Infinity” are probably  the most outstanding songs in Equilibria. At least it was very surprising to find groovy riffs in the first one and Modern Metal elements in another on Sunrise album. At the same time the music in this two songs aims to go to some Progressive Metal territory but Konstantin’s vocal line doesn’t allow it to get too far from Power Metal. However, the ending “Rebel Yell” is fully Progressive, at least in verses and intro. Awesome guitar solo and Laars’ low vocals can be heard here as well.

However, there are plenty of symphonic elements here: in dramatic “The Bell” and sublime “The Only Reason” symphony is distinct but such elements are scattered throughout the whole album, emphasizing or even creating the mood.

Female vocals are presented here fully also: Daria did a great job not only as keyboardist but as vocalist too. In some songs she sings together with Konstantin (“The Only Reason”), sometimes female and male vocals can be heard in succession (“Equilibrium”), but in any case Daria’s vocals added some variety to the album.

All in all, Equilibria is anything but not boring and monotonous album. In some songs the band stepped pretty far from usual Power Metal, expected by fans but that’s how it should be. Sunrise are not afraid to experiment and try something new, seeking and developing their own sound. Maybe some fans will not like such experiments but as for me stagnation is much worse thing than unsuccessful try; when musicians play the same riff for hundred times, trying to present it as something brand new. But it’s not about Sunrise. And it will be very interesting to hear what will be on the next album (hope is will be released sooner than 2026).

Equilibria will be released on May, 25th on Music Gym Records.

http://sunriseband.net/
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