As They Sleep’s 2008 album ‘Blacken The Sun’ is one of the many reasons why the underground scene is so highly important. If you’re unaware of this melodic death metal act I think it’s about time you start waking up to the talent that’s coming for you. Surpassing plenty of thrill-seeking genres to create a vibrant sound that hardly any other thriving bands are able to establish is nothing more than what could be described as an easy task for As They Sleep. This rare fuse has genuinely made the entire band progress from this album as a whole and even helped them score a recent record deal with UK label Siege Of Amida, who have signed some great talent in the past such as; Annotations Of An Autopsy, Martyr Defiled and The Bridal Procession. However fussy you may be with the amount of genres in the world at the moment, it is essential that you ignore whatever fancy core characteristics come abouts when comparing As They Sleep to anything else, because the entire album is nothing short of brutal, honest and original.
Technical, epic, and demonic is the first track to the album which is simply a short intro that boasts of a decent variety of riffs and blast beats. ‘A Thousand Deaths’ is where the vocals soon kick in – delivering shriek high pitched screams as well as guttural lows and the occasional hardcore shouting. These vocals are somewhat similar to All Shall Perish’s Eddie Hermida with a pinch of hardcore brutality from Acacia Strain’s Vincent Bennet…if you could imagine? If not – simply check the music for yourself. ‘Companion Of The Fire’ introduces the rare use of mainstream clean vocals – but not enough to consider this of the metalcore genre, it’s still death metal.
The album spins into insanity after the first several tracks, revealing more and more of what is to offer. One of the more favourable tracks ‘Sins ‘N Needles’, proves more worth than most songs with its beautiful guitar solo and mind boggling riffs throughout defining the track as a stand out from the rest. Whereas tracks such as ‘Sweet Misery’, in my opinion, take a slightly more thrash metal approach – which again adds to their powerful, and clever use of diversity. Instrumental track ‘Dawn’ relieves the listener at a calm pace using a piano whilst slowly building up to a monstrously impressive array of riffs and solos, ending the album on an all time high.
Breakdowns may not be the key element used in As They Sleep’s music, but the occasional use of the breakdown simply becomes a treat to the listener at most. Advancing with certain techniques that most bands in this genred category simply cannot keep up with is one thing that As They Sleep are proportionate of. It comes as no surprise that they are still able to create albums even after this majestic masterpiece, and yet everything still manages to feel refreshing as if it’s never been done before.