Released: 2008, Laser's Edge
Germany’s Dark Suns have been slogging it out in the underground for over a decade now. Plying their progressive metal to any who would listen, they managed to release an EP and full length independently before signing with Prophecy Productions for their 2005 sophomore album, EXISTENCE. Now back after three years on the prog-minded Sensory imprint of Laser’s Edge Group, Dark Suns have released their latest contribution to the prog-metal oeuvre, GRAVE HUMAN GENUINE.
From the opening instrumental “Stampede” through the following “Flies in Amber”, it’s immediately obvious that the band is talented. All the hallmark time shifts and finger-splitting notes are firmly in place. Vocally, drummer Niko Knappe does the standard smooth melodic vocal. Although he doesn’t have the range and power of the greats like James LaBrie and Nils K. Rue, he mixes in the occasional growled vocal to spice things up.
Unfortunately, that’s about the best praise I can give the album, as the whole thing just kind of plods along like some kind of “How To” class on prog-metal. There’s no spark or power to the thing, which is partially the fault of the turgid production. However, it’s also the song-writing, which goes to all the standard places that Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation (I suspect it’s no coincidence that Kris Gildenlow guests on bass), and other similar bands have already gone. It’s certainly not BAD, but it’s far too clinical to be enjoyable either. In a word: boring.