Album Review: Elyrean - Blacken The Sun
Reviewed by Tim Finch
A church bell chimes in the distance, through dense fog the muffled ring repeats itself, slowly getting nearer as fog clears. Ravens squawk and take flight as you pass, that chiming bell drawing ever nearer.
Welcome to the new E.P. from British thrashers Elyrean. To bring you up to speed Elyrean have been going from strength to strength this year. From winning the Wolverhampton Metal 2 The Masses competition through playing at Bloodstock Festival and more recently supporting Annihilator on their recent U.K. tour. Elyrean have been on a roller coaster ride in the rock and roll world that has culminated in the release of this record.
‘Blacken The Sun’ has been in the works for some time and despite the extended play moniker the band have given it, I’d call it an album with seven tracks spanning forty minutes of air time.
The instrumental opener, complete with chiming bells, the sense of fog and squawking ravens was a fantastic way to draw the listener in. Setting the scene and painting a picture of where the band are about to take us.
‘Unhallowed’ is where the recording really kicks off. Thrashing guitars of Will and Dan duel to perfection with hints of inspiration in their sound from early days The Haunted. Asa’s voice a haunting scream that adds depth to the music.
Whilst seemingly taking a little inspiration from other trash sounds in a few of the tracks, this isn’t an out and out thrash album. The sound is a meld of styles from old school trash, newer thrash and death metal. But it’s intentional and it works well, aiding the story telling of the songs with fluctuations in pace and brutality.
Anyone who has seen Elyrean live this year will be familiar with ‘Distorted Reality’ which is a regular in their set list. On record they add atmospherics to aid the eeriness of the song. Rains falls through the intro (akin to Raining Blood) as the guitars kick inalongside bass and Daryl’s drum line.
The title tracks is a brutal death metal romp of a tune leading into the softer ‘The Smouldering of Ashes’ with its acoustic guitar intro leading you into a tune rising in intensity and aggression as it progresses. ‘Fallen Ground’ takes us back to the sound influenced (it would seem to my ears) by The Haunted. Those fantastically smooth thrash riffs that the Swedes perfected and Elyrean have developed on.
In this album, nee E.P., Elyrean have demonstrated what they are really capable. The time taken in production has worked to their advantage producing a well round thrash/death cross over opus. If there was ever any doubt in the talent these four lads have, ‘Blacken The Sun’ washes it all away. Thrash album of the year? Possibly. Top ten albums of the year? Almost certainly!
Elyrean release 'Blacken The Sun' on December 14th.