Dark Suns and their Orange!
Dec 18th 2011 Rami Rouhana Band/Album Reviews

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Dark Suns is a German progressive metal band, founded by Maik Knappe (guitar, backing vocals live), Niko Knappe (vocals, drums), Christoph Borman (bass) and Thomas Bremer (piano). The sound is a mix up of beautiful melodies backed up by a driving double bass, soft spacey passages, unique guitar sound, and great piano work. The 2002 album Swanlike features harsh vocals commonly found in the death metal genre, whilst these vocals were dropped for 2005's Existence. Read more on Last.fm

Dark Suns is a Progressive Metal/Rock band from Germany, previously with a more Dark / Doom Metal style, and currently with a more laid back Progressive Rock style. Most of the big Prog metal bands moved from Metal to Rock and the first examples would be Opeth and Pain of Salvation to name a few.

Dark Suns didn’t take much time to follow, the album “Orange” was released on December 2nd, almost three months after Opeth and Pain of Salvation’s releases. The band has been working on the album for over a year, so this new direction was apparent since the demo release of the track “Toy”.

The album is “playful” when it comes to track names, vocal styles, experimentation and weird music movements. Dark Suns have been going more into Rock since the album “Existence”, which is one of the best albums released in its year and definitely one of the top Progressive albums of this decade alongside Ark’s “Burn the Sun” , Pain Of Salvation’s “The Perfect Element One and Dream Theater’s “Scene from a Memory”.

Apparently Europe has been producing successful Progressive music, with American efforts from bands such as “Dream Theater” and “Symphony X“, which by the way play the European style of Progressive Metal. The number of successful European bands make us forget that the Metal side of Progressive music originated in America with the band “Psychotic Waltz”.
The only thing making it hard for European Metal to reach us is the European media, which lacks presence in the Middle East, leaving us flooded with American media and American production companies.

Back to the album now, it would be easy to say that Dark Suns stand alone as an independent band with their independent style, even though they still take a lot from the old Progressive British bands like “Gentle Giant“ and “Van Der Graaf Generator”.

The most interesting part in most tracks is the high pitch vocal lines of “Niko Knappe / Maik Knapp / Torsten Wenzel” and the vintage style drum beats and guitar tuning alongside a mild distortion effect.

A major track is “Not Enough Fingers”, probably the simplest track ever recorded, but with a great mood and totally addictive.

The album is an easy listen in general, but some tracks take time to digest, as there is some experimentation going on, after all it’s real “Progressive” music.

“Orange” is recommended to all fans of Progressive Rock.

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