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Review: Sunless Rise – Unrevealed

Russian progressive/melodic death metal group Sunless Rise have released a killer album recently called Unrevealed. There is a lot to enjoy from Sunless Rise’s debut full-length, so after you head to their Facebook, Bandcamp, and Spotify, read on!

Unrevealed has a lot going on it at all times, so I will start by saying it sounds like music of the future. It sounds futuristic in a few ways: the guitar tones, accompanying rhythms, and the progressive element really pushes the boundaries of the music. The ethereal vocals are harsh, yet they act as the overseer of everything. I do not mean they dominate or cover the instruments. Another very intriguing thing about Unrevealed is how the music serves the lyrics. For example, “Ghosts of the Past” has a very bright and insightful undertone, which match the lyrics. It’s tough to find other bands to compare Sunless Rise to, but I think keeping Terracide in mind will help, especially on songs like “Recovering the Truth” and “Reborn.”

It is interesting how heavy the music sounds, yet maintains a progressive core sound. “Nothing to Save”, which is the album opener, does just this the whole time. There are strong riffs driven by really dynamic rhythm guitar and keyboard tracks. There are really slick transitions on this song, especially building up to the solo. Every solo on this album is incredibly technical and astral sounding, by the way. The tones achieved during these solos may remind you of Dragonforce, but not annoying.

“Awakening” takes a speed metal approach to the overall sound, but it’s obviously still uniquely Sunless Rise’s sound. The drums are relentless and the rhythm guitar does a lot of tremolo-picking here. The chorus is very melodic and introduces clean vocals for a short time. The vocals are charming and definitely fit in with the music. “Lost Path” sounds more intergalactically involved with the instrumental and tonal arrangements, especially the lead guitar and keyboard. The song is fast and all the spacey leads fly by, but leave a lasting impression. I’m putting these two together because they are similar in their fast and incessant movements.

It’s not that “Eidolon” is not heavy, but it doesn’t pack quite the same punch the other songs have. That is probably due to less of the extremely technical astral leads, intense atmospheric keyboard, and a more melodic solo. With that said, “Eidolon” is still a good song. I really like how it ends as a continuation of the solo. I’m going to group “Reborn” with “Eidolon” because “Reborn” carries on the “Eidolon” legacy in its own way. There are a lot more clean vocals in “Reborn” that support the rhythms really well.

One of my favorite songs on Unrevealed is “Recovering the Truth.” It is a very melodic song with really snazzy transitions/bridges. I’m not a fan of electronic sounding elements in metal, but the intro is pretty cool and it gets right into business. The clean vocals over chords make “Recovering the Truth” sound almost entrancing. It is beautiful. The solo is soulful and whole; it really fulfills the song.

“The Burnt and the Frozen” is a pretty intense song and another personal favorite of mine. Everything is constantly moving and there aren’t any breaks. This song actually reminds me of The Black Dahlia Murder during the verses, until you pay attention to the subtle keyboard track. Aside from the keyboard though, it does sound vaguely like TBDM for a little. Of course, the solo here is much different from any TBDM solo.

Sunless Rise described “The Forgiven” as the rebirth of the hero from “Nothing to Save” and it sure sounds like it. I can’t describe it better than it sounds like there is definitely some kind of rebirth going on. “The Forgiven” isn’t the heaviest song, but it serves the album’s concept well and takes a tonal change towards the end. For the most part, this song can be grouped with “Eidolon” and “Reborn.”

The final track is another inspiring one, as it is about the strength of a shining soul in its fight against darkness. I overgeneralized that, but that’s the basic idea. The lyrics are on Bandcamp and Spotify, so reading them while you listen is highly suggested. Once you read the lyrics you will have a much stronger grasp of the music and you will see it for all of its beauty. The vocals are clean when necessary, the bass is gentle and heavily involved, the drums are killing it as always, and the guitars work perfectly together.

Unrevealed is an impressive album to say the least. There is so much to offer on this album. I highly recommend this for fans of progressive and technical metal. It is clear Sunless Rise put a lot of effort into their music, and it shows clearly through the music. The production compliments everything and gets the point across well. Check out “The Burnt and the Frozen”and “Nothing to Save” if you want something heavier or check out “Awakening” and “Reborn” for the progressive/astral sound.

Rate: 9.2/10

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