Second to Sun – Leviathan (Self-Released)Sunday, 20th September 2020
Second to Sun have been an interesting act to watch grow and evolve. While it was only two years ago when The Black first hit this scribe’s ears, the band has been quick to release material (The Walk and Legacy have been released in the meantime) and Leviathan showcases some further diving into black metal waters for the band. While the shift from groovier directions into more icy ones has come naturally, Second to Sun’s bottom line has always included some melodies and this is where they continue to shine.
The greater emphasis on cold and icy territory is quickly evident as “Eerie” opens. But it’s also quickly noted that the song is appropriately named, with some murky and chilling atmosphere playing almost as important a role as the buzzing guitars and shrieking rasps. For an almost 10-minute opener, it wisely opens things up for the band and generates interest as the mystique builds between otherworldly melodies and moments of harsh blackened riffs. “The Emperor in Hell” carries these same traditions, with bleak melodies wrapping themselves around the otherwise driving black metal riffs to create a rousing, yet eerie vibe that really stands out. Later on, the title track opens with some raging fury and blastbeat-driven chaos, but it also balances things out with some almost cinematic atmosphere and tremolo melodies that help make the 8-minute track one that will keep you on your toes. That’s really it for the band – that marked blend of rather cold riffing and triumphant yet spooky melodies keeps them feeling a bit fresher than some of the other like-minded acts in the genre.
Continuing the forward progression for Second to Sun, Leviathan leaves a considerably solid impression. Otherworldly and exotic melodies provide an excellent contrast for the cold and brooding black metal underbelly that the band has further developed with each release and Leviathan leverages them both with grim pride.