There’s nary a second to spare in the opening barrage of The Walk, the new album from post-black metal band Second to Sun. The St. Petersburg quartet channel their energy towards an obliterating void, into which you may subsume yourself with our premiere of their upcoming release The Walk.
On The Walk, Second to Sun wrap their groove metal foundation in a tattered funeral shroud of black metal trappings for a result that transcends both in a brilliant marriage of genres. The polished release, masterminded by songwriter and founding member Vladimir Lehtinen, is capped by an assortment of atmospheric flourishes, including brass, synths and various electronic oddities of indiscernible origin. Despite these occasional moments of seeming levity, the band maintain the steadfast, crushing pressure of their collective hands around the windpipe of the listener.
Vocalist Gleb Sysoev delivers a quintessentially blackened performance, lyrics scraping the back of his throat for a rasp that is as acerbic as it is technically impressive. Since adding him to the roster last year, the band have gone back to reissue previous instrumental records with vocals courtesy of their new frontman. Though Second to Sun’s roots lie in instrumental music, there’s no sense of Sysoev’s vocals feeling tacked-on or superfluous in any way—he’s truly enmeshed into their sound, as integral as the drums, guitar or bass.
Where other post-black metal bands can inspire hope, guiding their listeners to zeniths of emotional release, Second to Sun are merciless in their assault. Even in their brightest moments, a return to despair is always imminent, as evidenced by the titles of album’s opening and closing tracks. “We Are Not Alone,” the band proclaim at the start, hopeful if perhaps naive, yet by the time our odyssey comes to a close, they instead conclude that “We Are Alone.” On this walk through the depths with Second to Sun, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Second to Sun will release The Walk on November 25th in digital and CD formats, along with a digital-only instrumental version. Pre-orders are available now.