Dead Sun Rising Casts Dismal, Mystifying Rays “Under a Diamond Sky” (Early Track Stream)
The transitory realm between doom metal and post-metal is a magical one, full of the enchanting possibilities begat by splashing an extra dose of doom into a genre already inspired by it: the only thing better than heavy riffs arrayed into emotional, dynamic arcs is getting more riffs as part of the bargain. Chicago's Dead Sun Rising started life in this mid-space, with their 2019 Hallowed EP interspersing bloodthirsty sludge riffs with shoegaze-y explorative sections and quiet-to-loud song structures built to shatter cathedrals. With their upcoming album As Above, So Below set to release early next year, it seems like Hallowed was a transitional step in itself to an even more interwoven future. As Above, So Below practices the same alchemy of fusing crushing power with bitter introspection, but it integrates its heavier side more seamlessly, stirring the remorseless morsels into its fluid, emotionally-charged appeal. As the track we're premiering here, "Under a Diamond Sky," efficiently demonstrates, the band's top-notch riff-crafting is only a single facet of the glittering heaviness within.
While the initial guitar assault sets the tone for the track, it's the rhythmic backbone of "Under a Diamond Sky" that keeps the grim energy flowing forward: a driving bassline and thumping drums let the guitars dabble in overlapping melodies and complex multi-part sludge riffery without losing violent momentum. While other tracks on As Above, So Below are notably less aggressive than this one, this dynamic is essentially a constant: come for the riffs, stay for the hypnotizing rhythm.
Dead Sun Rising's nuanced, musing approach to "doomgaze" (as they've aptly tagged it on Bandcamp) sonically takes notes from doom and sludge metal in a lot of places, keeping the drums thick, tucking its vocals just a bit underneath the guitars, and leaning on a meaty bass tone. However, they put these pieces together with their own interpretations of post-rock, shoegaze, and more in a way that immediately stands out as being something markedly different. Sometimes mournful, sometimes aspirational, and never obvious, As Above, So Below is an intriguing mystery to unravel.
Guitarist/vocalist Eric Carley comments:
"Under a Diamond Sky" is actually a very old song for us that predates both Pete and Nick. It’s a weird one for me, in that it’s got a very specific subject matter that, for once, is not my personal existential bullshit.
It’s not a nice story. The first part is from the perspective of Vikings showing up to wreck shop on some new soil. It then shifts to the perspective of a young girl being married off to one of these guys as political alliance / payment, so she slits her wrists instead. As she’s dying she’s having a revenge fantasy about emerging from her arteries as a ghost and eviscerating all of these assholes, then just kind of taking a minute to hover there and gloat over their corpses. Or, if you want a happier version, maybe she really does manifest as a vengeful spirit and fuck their worlds up.
As Above, So Below releases January 7th, 2022 independently via Bandcamp.