Second To Sun - Leviathan
Band: Second To Sun
Genre: Black Metal
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
FFO: Hath, Skeletonwitch, Ultar
After discovering Second To Sun from their huge 2019 release ‘Legacy’, I was very surprised but also excited to see they’d be releasing again in 2020. For just a year difference, the production (done once again by the guitarist/songwriter Vladimir Lehtinen) is even better than ‘Legacy’ in my opinion. It’s more atmospheric and engulfing, perhaps not as dark though. Regardless it is a classic black metal sound tied in with genuinely good mixing and mastering. Honestly the mix very well might be my favorite part about the production, it’s very well done.
The opening track ‘Eerie’ is of course, eerie. For it’s length and structure, it could have very well worked as a closing song as well, but instead it is utilized as an incredible 9+ minute opening. The pacing right away was proven solid just as it always has been. Something else I caught onto within the first few songs is these tracks individually give you a new and specific experience. This feeling continued on for me throughout the album. I also love the added guitar solos that float in the back at times, it gives these songs that extra layer to keep my attention when stretching on for a long time. If there’s only one thing I could say about these guys, it’s their musicianship is top notch. I don’t think they are breaking any genre boundaries, but they don’t have to when they absolutely destroy with their talent. The guitars know how to keep me following along and the drums know how to keep me engaged. Even with the beautiful atmosphere and distorted guitars, I can clearly hear how tight that drummer is with his playing. At times, I feel like what I’m listening to could be an orchestral piece. This is one of the few times I want to bring up the bass as well. It doesn’t stand out like some other bands, but it’s not completely absent as a lot of black metal seems to keep it. It’s just enough to once again, stick to the classic black metal sound but push it to more modern standards. All together, the result is fast, groovy, destructive, aggressive, and then some. Now the vocals aren't the most diverse. However it’s exactly what I want and expect from this band. When it comes to Second To Sun, those highs-mids that sour through the air with the music are fantastic and consistent. Lyrically, well I couldn’t tell you. I’m pretty positive it’s all in Russian. But what I can tell you is they are heavily inspired by mythology and occultism.
This album is great, but with how much ‘Leviathan’ takes out of me, it’s hard to say this is an album that belongs in my rotation. I would love to listen to it every day but with how massive it is, it actually wears me down - in a good way of course. With that being said, if this is the kind of stuff you listen to all the time, then by all means this will easily be able to fit into your daily routine. Looking back at ‘Legacy’, this album definitely doesn’t downgrade it, but I do think it’s better when it comes to the song writing in general, but also the production as I mentioned before. Their earlier work is solid but they have come a long way and have progressed very nicely.
This album is beyond an experience. Each individual song is an experience strung together for an adventure. The only thing holding me back from saying it’s perfect is the rather unnecessary and to me, pointless interludes that more-so interrupt the album rather than contribute to my journey through it. Other than that, in my opinion, their best release to date, and my personal favorite black metal release this year. I certainly have a lot of favorite or “strongest” songs on here but I’ll keep it to one. If this is what they can do in only a year, I can’t wait for the future.
Strongest Song: I Psychoanalyze My Ghosts
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/second-to-sun/660715352