April 16, 2008 | | 3.5

Enemy of the Sun, Shadows

Enemy of the Sun’s Shadows is one hell of a disc. Building on a base comprised of pummeling thrash, the band add in melodic elements, acoustic pieces as well as death metal influences. It’s quite a complex album without completely confusing the listener by trying to combine too many elements into too small of a space. Enemy of the Sun use their talents and a clean production to seamlessly combine all of their influences into an enjoyable and varied listen.

Not only does this album feature ex-Grip Inc guitarist Waldermar Sorychta, but he’s also the anchor for the band having written all of the songs and handled the production. Adding to his sound are the combined rhythms of drummer Daniel Zerman and bassist Alla Fedynitch. They lay down beefy and thundering beats while Sorychta plays his ass off on guitar. All you need now are the vocal talents of Jules Naveri. Delivering Sorychta’s message through a variety of delivery methods (clean choruses, metalcore screams and death metal growls), Naveri showcases his abilities to the fullest — often combining multiple styles on a single song, easily succeeding where some vocalists fail.

The opening track starts off with a big scream from Naveri as the rest of the band settle in to a galloping groove. This one is a pretty well paced piece of music interspersed with guttural growls and screams, big time blasts from the drums and memorable choruses. Man, talk about a great way to start off an album. Sorychta’s guitar work ties everything together nicely as the rhythm section lays waste to your ear drums. I love the explosion of blasts and screams at the 2:40 mark.

Burning Bridges
Timed blasts from the drums and a slower tempo start “Burning Bridges” off with a mixture of acoustic elements and cleanly sung vocals. Enemy of the Sun certainly do have an eclectic and varied presence to their music. Layered vocals add an additional element to the band’s sound. Naveri at times sounds influenced by Mike Patton’s delivery, but the very next sounds as though his soul source of inspiration is some lonely demon in the depths of hell. I’m thoroughly impressed with his capabilities.

Lives Based On Conflicts
“Lives Based On Conflicts” starts off with memorable guitar work and beefy rhythms. Naveri starts off with a deeper delivery before shifting into a smoothly sung chorus. There are several shifts from heavy music to lighter presentations that crete an interesting flow to the song.

Clearly Surreal
I love the chugging opening seconds to this track. It’s beefy and technical. The band quickly shifts to light guitar and drum work as Naveri presents us with a much lighter delivery to compliment the music. The title to this one truly describes the feeling of listening to it — the band shifts from heavy to light and back again several times during the song.

“Carousel” begins with quick firing riffs and drum work as it settles into a thrash fueled groove. Quite a unique Patton inspired vocal delivery from Naveri is accompanied with background screams giving the listener the feeling that they are indeed sitting on a plastic and color horse spinning around a pole at light speed. This is a strange song that’s actually quite addictive.

Twenty Three Feet
The band really embrace their progressive roots with this one. It’s inventive and all over the place, starting out with catchy riffs and drum blasts before shifting to a Queen like lilt. The cleanly sung portion is quickly engulfed with layered growls, big riffs and thick rhythms. This one has a bit of a rock opera feel in it’s delivery — dramatic feel and all with memorable riffs, unique tempo swings and more.

Feel The Beating
Unlike the title to this track the opening Spanish/Mediterranean feel to the acoustic guitar is anything but a beat down. Cleanly sung combine with gruff shouts as some nice riffing come into play. There’s a great groove and flow with this one that’ll have you nodding along with the chorus in no time.

Satisfied By Ego Purposes
A nice bit of bass work starts off “Satisfied By Ego Purposes” before tribal drums and the vocals come in. The band’s mix of thrash and progressive elements really make for an entertaining listen. I love the pummeling drums throughout this one. The 1:30 point sees the band shift into their thrash gear with galloping riffs and more guttural delivery. The song devolves into a nice chaotic and thrashy feel towards its end.

Brain Sucking Machine
An interesting bit of drum and guitar work gives this one a demented, psycho circus theme song feel to it before beefy thrash swallows it whole. The band quickly slows it down to light vocals and guitar work. The chorus is pretty sweet on this one, delivering heavy thrash quickly and urgently.

A great lead starts off “Weak” while light drumming accompanies it. This one has an underlying rock influence to it that compliments the heavier elements nicely.

“Liar” starts off with a great riff and settles into some mid-tempo pummeling metal that builds to a massive crescendo before disappearing in favor of light guitar work and softly sung clean vocals. The group picks the pace up with thundering drums, layered vocals complete with hectic screams and a great chorus. I’m digging the huge scream and breakdown just before the four minute mark.

Lost In Time
Fast paced drums and memorable riffing gets the flow moving along at near light speed as some of the album’s more aggressive vocals kick in. This one has a great head banging affect that cannot be denied. It ends nicely with a soothing string arrangement.

Enemigo del Sol
The bonus track for the US Release starts off with big riffs and beefy drums as the band settles into a heavy groove. This track is all over the place in terms of its vocal delivery and crushing blasts. It’s short, too the point and awesome.

~ ~ ~

Man, talk about wrapping everything up in a nice package. Enemy of the Sun combine heavy doses of progressive, thrash and a little bit of just about everything else in the any metal sub genre to great effect with their latest effort Shadows. This thing is a monster.

Favorite Tracks:
Burning Bridges
Satisfied By Ego Purposes
Enemigo del Sol

Additional Notes: