Artificial Sun – The Giants Collapse Review

It’s dangerous territory to claim uniqueness in today’s metal world. What we all assume is original and fresh in a stale scene may seem like yesterday’s garbage to someone else – it’s all subjective. Especially when it comes to the dead horse of -core (the –corse, if you will), how many beaten equines will it take for the latest foray into breakdowns, melodeath riffing, and clean/harsh vocal dichotomies to accept that they’re not original and that’s okay? Every band hopes to be the new thing, but how many stale baguettes can we go through before our mouths start just fuckin’ bleeding?

Artificial Sun is a quartet from Athens, Greece, picking up where its previous short-lived incarnation Trigger left off, sporting a fusion of groove and metalcore with their debut The Giants Collapse. Expect bouncy riffs, technical leads, energetic drumming, vitriolic and soothing vocals, and nice moments of experimentation to go down slow. Driven by cutthroat tempos paired with their riffs, each member contributes to the energy. However, although featuring moments of interest and tasteful experimentation across its bloated fifty-one-minute runtime, it never overcomes its overdone riffs and monotonous vocals, ultimately feeling as dry and crusty as pita left out since 2004.

That’s not to say The Giants Collapse won’t get your head bobbing. Tracks that feature the trifecta of kickass riffs, complicated rhythms, and tasteful experimentation are home runs. “Scapegoat,” “Pathetic Race,” and closer “Dead Man’s Misery” feature this balance, chunky riffs and ominous leads feeling a tad like old-school All That Remains, while the Greek folk melodies add a mysterious dimension and the Meshuggah worship adds a thoughtful construction to the blaring guitarwork. “The Giant’s Collapse” and “Hoax” concoct this djent-inspired brutality into a polyrhythmic mammoth, balancing punishing axework and intense technicality with thoughtful intensity. Even though the cleans are often a detractor to the sound, “Dead Man’s Misery” features a more contemplative prog-metal feel that utilizes them to a somber and desperate degree.

It’s pretty obvious that Artificial Sun would love to impress with how much they are able to do. Too often, this comes across as lack of commitment or letting certain qualities fall short. Most glaring is the nu-metal influence whose uninspired cleans, taking influence from Deftones and Skillet, derail tracks like “Monkey Society” and “Sicko,” while the latter suffers from an over-enthusiastic polyrhythmic riff when a simple full-throttle attack would have suited. Even tracks like “Thin Line” and “White Lies,” despite their highlights in sweet riffs and balanced rhythms, are knocked down a peg or two because of the cleans. The mix does not do the sound any favors, as the nimble guitar tone recalls Kingdom of Giants’ fluidity that works well in tracks like “Dead Man’s Misery” but falls flat in the punishing moments of “Sicko.” Perhaps most notably, Artificial Sun relies on the premise that its audience appreciates the -core, its blend of metalcore, groove, djent, hard rock, and nu-metal about as tasteful as a vomiting mouth to some listeners. The Giants Collapse’s total assault of the -corse requires a near-total buy-in, and will likely only appeal to fans of that style, whose numbers continue to dwindle.

If you wished that Korn, Meshuggah, and All That Remains made a supergroup, do I have an album for you. In spite of this relatively unique concoction, Artificial Sun manages to retain an unshakeably stale feel, and beats the dead –corse for the entirety of its bloated runtime. It feels self-indulgent and let down by a questionable mix of influences, worsened by a weak production and each track being derailed by one issue or another, whether it be djenty decadence or awkward vocals. In the end The Giants Collapse feels like a collapse upon the beaten –corse.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Sliptrick Records
Website: |
Releases Worldwide: May 5th, 2023

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