Passion Project

Jan. 12, 2016


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Iron Sun is a concept album of sorts from deathcore/metalcore band Red Skies.  To hear it from the band:

“Iron Sun” is a metaphor for the state of decay that our society is presently in. While exaggerated and slightly fictional, the idea is still relative to our reality. Imagine you are among the last colonies on Earth under siege by a dictatorship. This dictatorship, the "Concept Citizen", has abandoned all faith in restoring the world to what it once was, or even better, to a utopia that succeeds in harmonious living. Instead, the “Concept Citizen” has taken over the minds of the remaining colonies, stripping them of their individuality and ultimately destroying any potential for progress. In doing so, oil keeps being burned and fossil fuels rape the atmosphere, leading to the end of days, for the human race at least.

It's not a new concept, but one that is always relevant.  I think what impresses me more than the idea behind Iron Sun is the clear passion behind it.  The words above paired with the impressive level of work on the music from such a young band is nothing short of admirable.  The production is as lush and full as most major-label releases, and without feeling compressed or overdone.  This album was clearly their baby, and it has a bright future ahead.

All of this said, and I haven't even touched on the music itself yet.  You should be glad to hear that every aspect of the compositions themselves reflect the level of care put into all other aspects.  Guitar lines are insanely catchy, heavy, and fun from the dark, foreboding "New Voice," to the somewhat bouncy, increasingly melodic tapping and solos of "Concept Citizen."  These guys certainly know how to play, be it a line of chugging djent/deathcore, alt-rock infused power chord progression, or Born of Osiris-ish lead.  I'm not sure of the band's actual influences, but I can certainly hear the latter along with groups like Periphery, As I Lay Dying, and August Burns Red.

These influences, and the aforementioned level of passion, play out in the vocals as well.  "Norrin Radd" features everything from deep, death metal growls, to emotiven AILD clean singing, to shouted proclamations a la ABR.  The styles all work together quite nicely within the shifting fabric of technical drumming and intense guitarwork.  And while I often see frontmen with this kind of range excel in one area while falling quite short in another, Cody and Justin manage to soar high in all of them.

So to sum up, Red Skies serves as a strong example of how far you can go without heavy support.  Hard work, knowing your instruments, and a bit of knowhow (or working with others who have it) in the studio can take you plenty far.  All of this adds up to an album that is equal parts enjoyable, musically proficient, and emotionally relatable.  Iron Sun won't be the most original album you hear today, but if you are a fan of the genre, I'd be surprised to see you walk away dissapointed.  Stream and purchase the album below.