Across The Sun – Before The Night Takes Us

Categories: Reviews
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Published on: August 16, 2011

This five piece from Portland Oregon has been working and touring since their inception in 2004. During the past seven years there were a couple of EP releases and many many hours of touring for the band. Before the Night Takes US is the first full length album release and one could say was seven years in the making. Enter Metal Blade in 2010 and now its 2011 their full length is out, and what is the result of this long road?

The result is a wild ride of progressive metal bliss. Davis and company have really hit the high water mark with this release. It only takes a few bars of the opener, Song for the Hopeless, to realize the power and creative force is turned to 11. Across the Sun uses the talents of keyboardist Shane Murray in an incredibly thoughtful and ingenious fashion. Not overdone, but accentuated in all the right places on this opener. The many vocal styles of Davis from clean, to growls to spoken are just incredible. This may on face have some melodic inferences but dont be drug in by that label this band is progressive metal perfection. AT the heart progressive means pushing boundaries, adding new and creative layers to metal and this quintet has met and conquered that challenge head on. I haven’t heard keyboards this creative and bold since Janne Wirman first caught my attention. One needs only listen to Seasons the second track to hear the ebb and flow, highs and lows, of all instruments and vocals individually and collectively which yield the modern day example of progressive heaven.

Its not often a freshman release can have this many complex textures to their music but when it happens it is an amazing feat. It is refreshing and remarkable to see this much heart and soul captured forever on a recording. One of the best tracks on the release by far is “A Moment of Clarity”. This gives each and every instrument face time on the track with losing none of the cohesion of the music. And then their is the cello or viola or violin or combination of the three that drop in the middle. The entrance of this added string instrument reminds me of the Sandburg poem Fog. “The Fog comes on little cat feet” and that is exactly what this added strings do, come in on little cat feet, quietly, softly, yet with real purpose. To achieve this quiet entrance almost transparent to the listener all the while being at the soul of the song it a truly wonderful thing to hear.

Before the Night Takes Us has it all, inventive keyboards, vocals in many styles perfectly placed, meaty guitar riffs and solos, amazing bass lines, and Ashcraft beating some beastly skins. I don’t want to wait another seven years for the next release but this release was well worth the wait of those years. This is a must for all metal fans, Across the Sun is certainly poised to carry the metal and progressive metal banner into the future. Job well done lads from Oregon and here’s to many futures releases!

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