Released: 2004, Sun Descends Productions
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Ever since this NYC-based Thrash outfit released their debut TIDE IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN in late 2001, Sun Descends has struggled through several line-up changes. Mem von Stein (Exumer) now has a completely new line-up together, with the latest addition being Jillian Ann La Boy on bass. The result of spending a few days at Cyclone Sound Studios in Coney Island with hardcore producer Don Fury is five new songs for their sophomore effort titled KANUN-LAW. The album is conceptually based on Mem’s Turkish background.
Having listened to KANUN-LAW four or five times in a row, I have to say the band’s playing seems to get better and tighter all the time. Maybe a new line-up has something to do with that. The playing sounds solid and tighter, almost like the new band members understand and communicate better.
KANUN-LAW starts off with “Quiet Predators” which sounds like a mixture of early Sacrifice and HELL AWAITS era Slayer. It’s played with slower tempos, but overall it´s a fucking awesome thrash song and a great way to open this disc. In “Repeater Of Births” the tempo drops a little bit more, but not too much. Actually the song is a rather heavy mid-tempo tune until it reaches the 2:26 minute mark and turns into a raging old school thrasher bringing bits of old Slayer and Exumer to mind.
“Storm”, which is really only an interlude for the next song, has sort of Turkish vibe to it. It’s performed by Brad MacDonald and Pete List, perhaps the band’s hidden members. Sounds damn eerie to these ears and is something they should consider using on their next recording as a way to spice their music. “Kanun” not only wins the title of “thrashiest number” on KANUN-LAW, but is also the most Exumer-influenced song as well. The song has quite a few elements that connect it to the days of the mighty German thrashers. Sam Awry (guitars) sounds like he’s been listening carefully to HELL AWAITS for his entire life and just never got bored of listening to it. When it comes to the Exumer connection, “Sacred” isn’t too far off the mark either. Mem von Stein has managed to keep the same aggressive vibe in his voice that worked so well on the Exumer albums.
As icing on the cake, Exumer´s legendary 3-song demo, A MORTAL IN BLACK, can be found at the end of the album as a nice bonus. Feel the fire brought back from almost twenty years ago the same way as it was burning bright back in the day ... very nice indeed!
(NOTE: KANUN-LAW is limited to 500 copies, so you better hurry!)