Praise the Sun – The Proffer of Light Review

I remember the excitement I felt when I discovered In Flames during the late 90s. Albums like Whoracle and Colony were heavy, but they had Maiden-like harmonies and they were drenched with cool melodies that kept me coming back for more. The contrast between the Mack truck riffs and the catchy hooks hit a nerve. Since then, hundreds of melodeath bands have tossed their spear in the ring, but not many have been able to hit the same mark. Praise the Sun recaptures a little bit of that old thrill. These Poles make their official debut with Proffer of Light, an LP that recycles five songs from their 2020 EP and expands their sound in new directions. Will Praise the Sun reap praise from this angry metal son? I’d proffer you read the whole review.

This record has everything I love about melodic death metal. It feels both fresh and like a throwback. It’s an album I could imagine picking up in 1999 but the production and songwriting show a modern approach from artists who understand the innovators who came before them. Praise the Sun is not rewriting the melodeath playbook but lovingly showing there’s still plenty of life for those with chops and creative vision. The title track is one of the best mid-tempo rockers I’ve heard in a while. It’s the type of great, unpretentious songwriting I just don’t hear enough of. With its melodic lead riff and staccato drum groove, it demonstrates that there is still untapped potential in an otherwise overcrowded genre.

Much of Praise the Sun’s appeal comes from singer, Marcelina Janik. She has one of the better and more distinct voices I’ve heard recently. It’s great to see more women in metal, but the glut of bands with operatic divas belting out Celine Dion power metal isn’t my bag. Janik has something more feminine and more powerful going on. The obvious comparison would be Arch Enemy, but we don’t talk about them around here and the more accurate comparison would be Candice Night of Blackmore’s Night. Her voice soars with a seductive siren-like grace that effortlessly shifts into death growls and back within the same line. She shines on songs like “Eternal Dreams” where she turns a simple melody into a compelling performance with a depth most singers can’t reach. The rest of the band delivers in all the right ways. Drummer Wojciech Mroziński keeps things moving beautifully by forgoing the flash in lieu of solid, creative drum work that serves the songs well. Guitar duo Mateusz Zarczuk and Daniel Kowalski dish out the riffs and harmonies you’d expect in a classically inspired melodeath record. They serve the material with strong, memorable melodies and surprisingly few flashy guitar leads. “The Art of Harmony” showcases the most shredding on the album, but the playing nestles perfectly into the song without calling undue attention to itself.

If I had a single complaint about The Proffer of Light, it would be that a few songs feel like filler. The album starts strong, hitting all the right notes with the metalcore banger “The Curtain of Life” followed by the absolutely slamming “The Art of Agony.” About four tracks in, my attention wanes a bit. “Alive” and “Mistaken Daughter” feel a bit derivative and don’t rise to the high bar set by the opening tracks. Given that this is a debut LP, I can easily overlook the inconsistency. And things pick up soon enough. The record takes time to breathe and offers up a musical journey with pacing that highlights all the band’s strengths.

The Proffer the Light is easily one of my favorite albums of 2022, and “Eternal Dreams” one of my favorite songs. The mix of fresh melodies, S-tier singing, slamming riffs, dripping harmonies and quiet dynamics bring this fanboy back to his melo-happy place. I expect Praise the Sun to do great things. They have one of the best undiscovered vocalists to enter the metal scene, and the band showed great growth in sound and skill between their debut EP and this album. Give this record a spin. You’ll know within the first two songs if this is your jam or not. “Proffer” means to offer something in exchange for acceptance. I’d say, they’re offering a hell of a deal. Let the light flood your ears.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Art of the Night Productions 
Releases Worldwide: September 10th, 2022

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