Germany’s Dark Suns have nudged themselves ever so gradually towards a purer prog rock sound for some time now. ‘Orange’ is definitive proof that the transitional stage is complete. Welcome to the 70’s.
Just as Mr Akerfeldt and crew cut the toe-dipping and fully immersed themselves in their love for prog rock with ‘Heritage’, Dark Suns have made a progressive rock record too and it’s not a bad attempt by any pot-bellied progster’s standards. A good place to start is with vocalist and drummer Niko Knappe, who is perhaps a little Fish-influenced in his quieter moments, especially on ‘Ghost’ – yet he’s poised to reach higher pitches closer to The Mars Volta frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala. What’s refreshing about Dark Suns is the ambience they play about with – a lovely peaceful, hazy atmosphere has the potential to unfold into a variety of soundscapes.
Take ‘Vespertine’ as prime example. The track experiments with sporadic trumpets – flitting like a rockier, less extreme Shining (NOR) where trumpets are replaced with sax. But the eight-minute track hits softer peaks with a flurry of natural imagery and nice chord progressions, before the 14-minute ‘Antipole’ hits its ultimate prog crescendo just after five-minutes and finishes ‘Orange’ very strongly.