The EP, “The Calm, The Storm” from Carlisle based progressive metal quintet The Sun Explodes builds on the excellent 2013 release, “We Build Mountains”. Back when we interviewed them for that we knew we were dealing with a band that delivered terrific music, but could they consistently deliver quality music? Seriously, what a stupid question, this is The Sun Explodes we’re talking about!
“The Calm” is an aptly named intro to the EP. It’s a huge sound without being too cluttered, with staggering vocals from Dave Maclachlan that should be blasting through an arena. “The Unnatural” has an initial sound that reminded me somewhat of Rush before slowing down to a surprisingly easy going dreamscape of a song. Not content with nearly outdoing the Canadian legends at their own game a lovely guitar solo that you’d expect from some guitarists avant garde solo project is unleashed, and it’s spectacular.
“The Grand Design” has a very similar intro to it as “The Unnatural” but it takes an entirely different direction afterwards. It’s deliberately provocative and has an edgy sound, with an awesome groove of a main riff!
“I Walk Alone” was something of a surprise, dispensing with a lot of the technicality, but still retaining the high quality sound of the band. “Storm of Light” almost reminded me of Enya with an unexpected piano introduction, and when the vocals kick in for a brief second I thought it was leaning a tad towards David Bowie. I’m not sure if that was entirely planned or accidental, but either way, it’s very nicely done! Over half way through though, “Storm of Light” really opens its wings into a beautiful track.
What this latest outing from The Sun Explodes offers is technical excellence without being over the top. It’s compelling and grand and the only thing that now surprises me with this band is that they haven’t gained the much needed mainstream support and attention that they truly deserve. I’m hoping that it’s only a matter of time, because without a doubt, The Sun Explodes are an incredible talent not to be missed.