What do you get when Paradise Lost mates with Katatonia? Today the answer to that question is Scar of the Sun. The surprises just keep rolling in this past week, because this is another band I’ve never heard of that has completely blind-sided me with an unexpected piece of ear candy.
Recorded in 2008 “A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies” is only now in 2011 seeing the light of day. I’m not sure what the hold-up was, but I’m glad it finally made its way into circulation.
While I don’t feel off the mark in referencing Paradise Lost and Katatonia I also would not want to give the impression that they are aping the sound of either band. This album mixes a lot of different stylistic elements and some of those are bound to make me think of other artists. At times the album has a doom atmosphere peppered with gothic and electronic elements. Other times it comes across like power metal seasoned with symphonic passages. They even have some harsh death metal vocals on one track courtesy of Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquility. I think the dominant flavor would be a kind of gothic progressive sound.
I bought this when it came out last week and knew right away I wanted to review it. For some reason I was expecting this to be a hardcore album (maybe I was confusing it with something else I had previewed) so when I sat down to give it a good listen I was surprised by what it turned out to be. After my first listen I decided to hold off on writing the review because I wanted to let it sink in for awhile and then listen again. I didn’t want to jump the gun on something that seemed more complex than just a typical metal album.
So over the course of the past week I’ve played the album a few more times and each time I hear new things I didn’t hear in previous listens. Part of this is likely due to my musical ADD, but it’s also because of all the little nuanced cool bits of the songs that you really have to pay attention to if you are going to notice them. This really isn’t a casual listening album; you really should pay attention to it if you want to get the most out of it.
I don’t have any reservations about recommending this album. Check ‘em out.