I didn’t have any expectations for this EP. To be brutally honest, I’ve only heard two really special EPs in the last two years (they were by Arteries and Royal Blood, by the way – best you check them out). I threw it on in my car on the way to work one morning last week and I was riveted from the word “go”. I thought Volumes No Sleep record was going to be the pinnacle of hardcore-infused djent this year, but I was wrong.
Let’s get this out of the way now – The Sun Never Set should have thrown three more songs and released this as a full length. They definitely have the ability, and they probably have the songs, too. I’m guessing funds got in the way, which is a damn shame. Having said that, this record goes for over twenty seven minutes, which is only about three minutes shorter than that ’68 record, so I’m probably just splitting hairs about what constitutes a ‘full-length’.
Anyway, the mix is sublime, the vocals are caustic, the musicianship is unparalleled and the composition is simultaneously diverse and consistent, in such a way as to give the EP a sense of continuity while maintaining your interest. The main thing they have going for them, however, is the size of the sound. So many bands try to sound huge and fail dismally, but TSNS succeed with aplomb. That bit in the middle of “Artforms” (you’ll know it when you hear it), oh man – so good.
The next three tracks are awesome in and of themselves, but it’s the closer, “Wildcard”, that has a special place in my heart. That song is so intense that I couldn’t help but mosh violently in my lounge room even after the fifth listen. So much awesomeness packed into one individual song really isn’t fair on the rest of the EP, but that’s the way it is, I’m afraid. I could go on at length about “Over Our Valiant Empire” and it’s schizophrenic nature, the bait that drags you in hook, line, and sinker into “One Drop of Blood and We’ll All See Red” and the crushing brutality of “Valiant”, starting so calmly and gently before revealing the monster within, but I’d be here all day.
Basically, it’s like this – if you like heavy music in any way, shape or form, pick up this EP. The only issue I have with it is that it’s too short in length. It’ll be open season when the rest of the world catches on to these boys, so jump the queue now. This is beyond world class.