Second To Sun - Legacy review


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Band: Second To Sun
Album: Legacy
Release date: November 2019

Disc I
01. Devil
02. Confessional Of The Black Penitent
03. Pages For A Manuscript [feat. WV]
04. Monster
05. No Need To Be Afraid Now
06. Once Upon A Time In Russia
07. Raida
08. Me Or Him 2020 [bonus]
09. Virgo Mitt 2020 [bonus]

Disc II [Instrumental Edition]
01. Devil
02. Confessional Of The Black Penitent
03. Pages For A Manuscript
04. Bog
05. Monster
06. No Need To Be Afraid Now
07. Once Upon A Time In Russia
08. Raida
09. Me Or Him 2020 [bonus]

You can take the Second To Sun out of djent but you can't take the djent out of Second To Sun.

As if programmed to release new material annually right before year's end, these Russians have dropped yet another collection of intricately woven songs that act alone as their own individual stories. And while Legacy may seem somewhat incoherent as a result, there is more than enough material here to enjoy outside of the whole. The most simplistic and fitting descriptor that would do any justice to this offering is post-black metal, but the nature of this album -- along with the rest of the band's discography -- ventures beyond and between those limitations. It's a refreshing take on the black metal sound, if not unique. But it still suffers from some recurring issues.

Evidently, great care is taken with regards to how each song is crafted to explore particular themes within a specific atmosphere; however, the disjointed feel as one story concludes and another begins eventually takes a toll on the overall listening experience. By far the album's most significant flaw next to its production, it's far from the worst problem to have as a band. After all, writing seven elaborate, engaging songs (nine including bonuses) that don't flow next to each other is better than writing seven plodding, meandering songs that all flow perfectly together.

Having just mentioned the production quality as another detractor, now would be a good a time as any to explain why. While the instrumentation is appropriately mixed, with the resonating drum blasts and cymbal work distinctly heard through the thick reverb of the guitars, the "wall of sound" recording makes for extensive visits rather challenging on the ears. Whether or not this is an intentional approach or the result of being self-funded as an independent outfit is unknown, but it isn't the first album of theirs to have this overwhelming sense of annoyance behind the music.

Despite these issues, Legacy really is a strong, borderline exceptional album worthy of praise. It may not seem like it based on the previous paragraphs, but there are plenty of positives to denote here. Between the catchy, powerful grooves and uplifting melodies, the fluctuating riffs and varying pace, and the intensely shrieked vocal delivery, any fan of extreme metal should be thrilled with this release. It balances extremity, frenetic energy, and accessibility unlike so many bands that attempt to branch out from black metal's confines, with a captivating songwriting style capable of expressing sorrowful tones through ethereal atmospheres as much as it ventures into grandiose territory, never abandoning its overarching brutality. If only each song didn't seem so far removed from the others and some professional recording equipment upgrades were gifted to these talented musicians, the quality of the content alone could be grounds for this release ending up on many best-of lists for the year, and possibly even the decade. That said, until a more cohesive and inclusive album writing process is undertaken, all of these brilliant single tracks will only serve to act as great additions to shuffled metal playlists.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 5


Written on 09.12.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.

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