Reviewed: December 2019
Released: 2019, Self Released
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Russia’s Second To Sun are a curious, though astonishingly prolific lot. The band’s militant independence has allowed them the freedom to self-release seven albums over an eight-year stretch – not to mention make instrumental versions of their last couple albums available as well.
And since 2011, Second To Sun has morphed from guitarist Vladimir Lentinen’s solo instrumental project into a fairly full-fledged band that has explored, and in some cases later disavowed, a sonic palette that has spanned djent, thrash, death metal, post-metal and black metal. Legacy is the band’s latest release – available with or without vocals – and finds Second To Sun further exploring their epic black/post-metal inclinations.
Incredibly, it’s their third album in 18 months – the sort of pace The Beatles used to maintain way back in the day when they were cranking out one hit after another! Not to compare them to the Fab Four in any way other than sheer productivity, but all that work in such a short amount of time has seen Second To Sun coalesce quite nicely – if almost certainly by necessity, since if things didn’t work the band easily could have devolved back to a solo venture for Lentinen again.
Having brothers Gleb and Max Sysoev come onboard as vocalist and bassist, respectively, may have helped in that regard, bringing with them some familial stability. Nevertheless, with Legacy, Second To Sun have produced their biggest, most ambitious and fully realized album yet, offering a series of majestic, tumultuous epics, with the 10:33 “Pages For A Manuscript” serving as its centerpiece.
The fittingly titled “Devil” and “Monster” are more steeped in brutality, with blasting sprints countered by heaving grooves and Gleb Sysoev’s commanding shriek. “Confessions of the Black Penitent” “Raida” and “Once Upon A Time In Russia,” on the other hand, are more grand and cinematic, whereas the chugging “No Need To Be Afraid Now” has an industrial/thrash-like vibe that echoes Ministry and Megadeth in equal measures. Either way, it’s pretty damn heavy, something that can be said about the album as a whole, which is the band’s more bruising work to date.
But that might not be true for long, given how quickly these guys have shown they can crank stuff out. Lentinen, as the band’s leader and composer, is either a writing savant who rivals Stephen King for the sheer quantity of his work or has a huge stash of stuff in reserve from god knows when. Either way, Lentinen’s certainly no slouch and with the right co-conspirators to bring it all to life, he’s got a pretty good thing going now with Second To Sun.
Not sure what they can do to top the triumphant Legacy, but chances are we won’t have to wait long to find out.