Review: “Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä” by Dark The Suns

After a three year flourish between 2007 and 2010 which saw Firebox Records release three full-length albums (“In Darkness Comes Beauty”, “All Ends in Silence” and “Sleepwalking in a Nightmare”), Finland Melodic Metallers Dark The Suns went from highly active to dormant for seven long years before being re-activated as a duo by Mikko Ojala (vocals, guitars, drums) and Inka Ojala (bass, keyboards) in 2020. They had always been the beating black heart of the band, writing almost all the band’s music and lyrics and so spending time together in the studio they have conjured a fourth studio album “Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä” to keep us warm on those cold winters nights.

In the past the band themselves have described the music of Dark The Suns as simply beautiful piano melodies and dark vocals in the Finnish tradition of melancholic and Melodic Death Metal but in truth there is so much more to them. The synths of “Spirit in the Dark” for example, take a leaf from the are of the Lindsay Schoolcraft of Cradle of Filth book, providing interweaving melodies that at times do the work of a lead guitar but at others simply create a vibrancy in the mix as the rhythms drive the songs forward. “Everywhere” has epic grandeur with orchestration building on the foundations of the sound during the pre-chorus and chorus sections while Mikko Ojala’s vocals sound raspy and haggard with a mournful quality that gives the lyrics integrity. The title track “Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä” or “The Sorrow of Your Fury in the Darkness of My Heart” maybe one in which he speaks of storming sorrow and grief but the tornado of riffs bring a Black Metal quality with a higher energy that raises the hairs on the back of your neck and starts the adrenaline running. Those mournful synths are still there but the beast rising from them is enraged and smashing through everything in its path to create a piece of gargantuan Metal. The gravelly vocal tones found for both “Hope in Our Hands” and “The Secrets of Time” are a couple of octaves lower as Mikko Ojala finds a darker, more demonic voice with brain hemorrhaging qualities to accompany something that musically is contrasting in beauty and elegance. Polar opposites shouldn’t work on paper but they are carried off to dark perfection on this brooding affair that proves any naysayer wrong. There is always talk of damaging legacies when bands return after a long period in the wilderness but if Dark The Suns were nervous about that it certainly doesn’t come across at all, what they have done is picked up where they left off with renewed freshness as if they hadn’t been away.

After the more melodic mid-album cuts “Seeker” rises like a Phoenix from the ashes, casting aside the shroud to reveal a clenched fist of epic grandeur beneath. One of the albums pre-release singles, its is an obvious choice as its bold undertaking and orchestration rich moments bring a Gothic overtone while not straying too far from the core sound and the pair are a winning combination. A heavier bass line in the mix of “Taivas Itki Tulta” (or “The Sky Cried Fire“) and the bolstering of the sound with what sounds like melodic female vocal harmonies but could be some kind of synth effect in addition to the keyboards creates mystic tension before faster parts give us something else although the sense of formula has begun to creep in by this point of the record. Each song sounds similar without being the same and while that gives it a sense of the bands style, it also anchors it firmly to the ocean floor at others. Something that breaks out is perhaps called for and the harsh whispers of “Shadows in the Void” or “Enkelsiipi” (or “Little Wing“) could go a little further. A Gothic Metal undertaking, it sounds huge and cinematic and perhaps if a guest vocalist joined for some soaring cleans it would be even more outstanding than it otherwise is and you can get lost in the nuances of the icy cold synths. The return of Dark The Suns is a welcome one. [7/10]

Track listing

1. Spirit in the Dark
2. Everywhere
3. Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä
4. Hope in Our Hands
5. The Secrets of Time
6. Seeker
7. Storm of Fire
8. Taivas Itki Tulta
9. Shadows in the Void
10. Enkelsiipi

Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä” by Dark The Suns is out 9th April via Inverse Records


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