Sunwolf ‘Beyond The Sun’

SunWolf ‘Beyond The Sun’ (Ark Noise 2012)

Domnic Deane – Drums/Organ, Matthew Carington -Guitars/Samples

Produced by Ross Halden

I quite like this record. On the other hand, I can probably count on the fingers of both hands how many times I’ll be able to sit and listen to it.

This is actually much more of a positive statement than you might think and as such I ask that you allow me to elaborate  As if you had any fucking choice. ‘Beyond The Sun’ is pretty intense. But not intense in the way of a lot of artist I write about are i.e. loud and shouty. This is more of a subtle sonic intensity. The quiet and pretty moments sound tense, occasionally somewhat brutal as they build to the band’s more climatic and noisy moments. The post-rock influence is obvious in a lot of the structures of the songs on this album and the stoner influences is evident in the pace of the tracks, its easy to imagine a room of heads shrouded in smoke nodding along to this. These are both things that I can get on board with to an extent; I like both the quiet to loud dynamic and I also like really, really dirty guitar sounds. Sunwolf deliver both of those things and deliver them well, and pretty promptly too. Rarely do any of the sections, be they clean and melodic or dirty and heavy, outstay their welcome which is so often to tipping point for many a post-rock or stoner band.

The band’s drone influences though are the real make or break part of this album. And for me, they break its replay value. That said, they’re also a key part of the flow of the record and its sense of completeness that makes this a real album as opposed to a collection of instrumental passages. I often find many instrumental acts make albums with similar sounding tracks because they lack that distinction between tracks that a good vocalist, and in particular a strong lyricist, can provide. The passages where the album indulges the drone influences grate a touch for me, but on the other hand it only brings the beauty of the band’s quieter moments into some seriously stark relief. Each dynamic benefits the other and I can’t say for sure that if the album was simply washed of these it would still have the same effect. By doing this it is these elements and not the others, wonderful though they may be, that  give the album that sense of urgency and sense of emotion that is so often lost in a lot of instrumental music.

I realise much of that last paragraph seems like an absurd contradiction but what can I say? I’m a complex man.

Ladies, please form a que.

‘Beyond The Sun’ is in reality a really, really good album. But it isn’t really easy.

Truth be told, I’m not sure I’d want it to be.

‘Beyond the Sun’ is available now at the band’s bandcamp page and available as limited edition physical version. Click here to check it out.

They have no Facebook that we can see so…you can’t ‘like’ them. Bummer.

C.McMillan

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