Thursday, May 5, 2016

X Suns – III/The Greys

Right from the jump, let's make sure we're doing this right. This band is called Ten Suns. The “X” is the Roman numeral for 10. You probably sat there in math class when you had the unit on Roman numerals and thought, “When am I ever going to use this?”. Well, smart guy, right now, that's when. And while we're at it, you use algebra a lot more than you think too, so let's stop with all those social media memes about that. In fact, let's give our math teachers a break and recognize that they taught us lots of useful and important things.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, it's time to talk about this bitchin' release from X Suns. I have to give a shout out to Devil's Child Records, the label on which this is released on vinyl. They have put this out on traditional black vinyl, as well as 3 different splatter variants. They look really good and match up with the artwork on the album jacket very nicely. One variant is available only through the band, so check them out. Just on looks alone they are worthy of being the next addition to your collection.

We are about the music, though, and there is some very nice stuff here. This release actually collects two EP's, “III” and “The Greys”, and splits them, one on each side of the vinyl. These guys are an instrumental band, by which I mean that there is no singing. I always tip my cap to bands like this because I can never wrap my mind around writing music that doesn't have lyrics to go along with it. Thankfully, these fellas don't have any issues with that. The songs all have nice structure and the songs move along and feel like they are telling you something. Kudos also to the band for coming up with song titles that feel like they really fit the music in each track.

The “III” side opens with one of my favorite tracks on this release, “You've Been Asleep”. The song moves and feels like someone waking up, at least how I feel when I'm waking up, and then has a pretty raging ending, which I imagine is the person getting to the point where they are awake but there's no coffee ready to finish the process. There are 4 songs in total on this side of the record. They are all good, solid songs. As a metal fan I had my own ideas about what a song called “Skull Breach” would sound like, but there's no death metal here, and this version of a skull breach works for me too.

“The Greys” has 3 songs, and they are the earlier of these two releases. It is interesting to listen to these 2 EPs back to back, because you can clearly hear how the band is progressing. The songs are a little edgier to me on this side. I wouldn't call anything these guys do “rough”, as they actually have a very polished sound that holds up well to repeated listening, but these songs just seem to bite a little more. “To The Bottom of the Sea (The Greys)” moves very smoothly from a quieter intro through some tempos and time changes and slowly builds up to quite a powerful feeling ending.

I really enjoy this release. It feels quiet and contemplative at times and also has some heavy moments. As instrumental releases go, this is one of the better ones I've heard in a while.


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