Sun of the Suns – TIIT Review

There is all sorts of weirdness going on with this release. It’s a debut album by a band that by all means does not seem to have existed until late May this year. Sun of the Suns have no Metal Archives page and their only social media channels, Facebook and Instagram, both dropped out of the sky one day with the album announcement as the first post. Yet the Italians helming the project have sufficient pedigree in their national death metal scene, enough to pull session participation from Fleshgod Apocalypse drummer Francesca Paoli and DGM bass player Simone Mularoni. Not to mention this sounds absolute leagues away from the exploratory, not-quite-sure-where-we’re-going-with-this tentativity you might expect from a debut. So what can you expect instead?

TIIT confidently blends the hard-hitting gunfire chugs of modern deathcore with the muscular, serpentine riffing of Morbid Angel, perfused with an ominous synth-derived atmosphere that delivers a deliciously sci-fi edge to the already potent amalgamation. It makes sense for the record’s theme too, considering this is something of a concept album dealing with the alien-wrought birth and future evolution of mankind. This focus permeates the album as a whole, from the bludgeoning syncopation-based sonic assaults to the perfectly placed solos and swirling riff rapids that will quickly suck you under and beat you against the rocks. The excellent riffing1 is supported by Paoli’s dynamic and precise drums and Mularoni’s diverse bass, though the latter winds up a tad buried beneath the onslaught.

While the core sound and technical execution are practically flawless, when it comes to variety, I admit to leaning on two thoughts simultaneously. There are plenty of different dynamics at play here: blastbeat-filled in-your-face brutality, ominous atmospherical interludes, winding technical riff storms, and more. But comparing each track to the next, the differences are not as profound. The blastbeat-filled stanzas of “The Golden Cage” don’t differ all that noticeably from those of “Of Hybridization and Decline,” nor do the riff storms of “I Demiurge pt. 2” set themselves clearly apart from “Hacking the Sterile System.” Vocalist Luca Dave Scarlatti (Carnality) has an admirable growl, but not a wide array of deliveries, exacerbating the issue.

But on the whole, it remains a fairly minor issue, because whereas the most common consequence of homogenized music is early-onset boredom, TIIT does more than enough to remain consistently enticing. Though the songs are a bit… alike-sounding, a multitude of awesome individual moments dot the album, like the bursts of machine-gun riffs on “Flesh State Drive” and the excellent solo on “I Demiurge pt. 2” including its neat transitory lead-in. Even in between, the combination of intense burly aggression, sky-high levels of technical prowess, intriguing atmosphere, and addictive sense of melodic arrangement make return visits a consistently enjoyable experience.

Coming out of nowhere like a spaceship dropping from a clear sky, Sun of the Suns leave a sizeable crater glowing in colors heretofore unknown in this region of the cosmos. Though TIIT leaves room for improvement in the big picture category, the record exudes excellence on the smaller scale, from supreme technical execution to intriguing and layered songwriting that marries melody with murderous malice. If you have a heart for death metal, you need to give this one a try. The element of surprise is gone now; we know Sun of the Suns is out there, and when next they visit the planet again, I’ll be more than ready for another close encounter of the third kind.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Scarlet Records
Releases Worldwide: August 20th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. Courtesy of Marco Righetti (Carnality) and Ludovico Cioffi (Nightland, The Modern Age Slavery).
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