Glare of the Sun – Theia (Lifeforce)

Thursday, 30th May 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

Can’t help but feel the apocalypse comes early on Glare of the Sun’s second full-length, Theia. The Austrian doom/post-metal quintet was of such a mind on their promising 2017 -Soil- debut, but here, they’ve gone up to the proverbial next level. Sure enough, the band used to brandish the “There will be doom” tag. Now, on Theia, it makes more sense than ever.

Conceptually, Theia represents the downfall of mankind, which when combined with the band’s thorough penchant for crushing, if not cinematic post-doom, it all comes together. No actual song titles here — just “Theia” from one to 12, with “II” quickly emerging as the early game breaker, a bright, almost teetering on the brink of destruction cut laced with syncopated rhythms and burning melodies. The carefully-cresting “III” is the proverbial all-world post-metal banger, complete with the always-effective quiet/loud dynamics set to a deceptively simple riff. The usage of clean vocals on “IV” lends to another spectrum with slow, crushing BPMs, offsetting “III” rather effectively.

The spate of dynamics unfurled throughout, including a quiet acoustic instrumental on “VI,” or the Isis vibe of “VIII” or billowing “IX” suggest, rather strongly, that Glare of the Sun has just about mastered the sonic minefield of post-metal jostling with doom, although the more Theia sinks in, it starts to translate more into just end-of-the-world music. Lots of bands have laid claim to the idea of creating the “soundtrack to the apocalypse” and come up short. Don’t put Glare of the Sun in that bunch — they’re the living, breathing genuine article.

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