Glare Of The Sun is a Salzburg, Austria based band that came into existence in 2013 and has remained relatively unknown ever since. From day one their line-up has been unchanged, consisting of Tobias Schwab on bass, Franz Ebert on drums, Martin Baumann and Gerald Huber on guitar and Christoph Stopper as both vocalist and sound engineer. After releasing their debut in 2017, a full-length called Soil, the guys kept on polishing their sound, eventually culminating in a brand new release, another full-length called Theia. Their weapon of choice is genre-transcending metal with a distinct hint of rock, but their musical roots definitely lie in the slower, heavier corners of metal, also known as doom metal. As doom metal tradition demands, this 12-song album takes its time, spanning well over 65 minutes and it is to be released next June.
Right off the bat there’s no telling what this album will be all about, since there are no song titles available, unless you count I, II, III and so on as titles. Not that it really matters, titles can be as deceitful as they can be expressive, they’re not always very helpful where it comes to anticipating what is coming your way. So without titles it will be then. The journey called Theia starts with an atmospheric instrumental intro that really only seems to serve as a mood-making intro for the rest of the release. It does a good job to be honest. The second song starts heavy, slow even, with a nice dragging riff backed by an equally heavy rhythm section, developing into a full-blown moody doom metal piece. The vocals vary between some sort of pained whisper and an angry growl, quite fitting the rather somber lyrics. The tone is set. The opening heavy guitar riff is replaced by a matching bass line in the next song, its composition making sure there’s no relief from the moody atmosphere created in the previous song whatsoever. Other than that the composition pretty much follows the same path as its predecessor towards an atmospheric, moody song.
In fact, the same can be said from every song on this album, moody atmosphere definitely is the name of the game throughout this release, as each song seems to originate from the same well of misery. That may sound as if this release is filled with similar songs which will bore your pants off, the one easily replaceable by any other, but that is actually as far from the truth as you can get. Each song is a carefully composed, well thought-out separate work of art, each with an identity of its own. The foundation of each song, provided by the guitar riffs and the rhythm section, is pleasantly solid yet plentifully varied ensuring them to be more than interesting by themselves, but they also perfectly blend in with any other given song on this release. And that is not all, there’s more to this than just that. Around the solid base of each song the guys of Glare Of The Sun have woven many different, yet matching musical and vocal structures, blending them together into an organic whole, into Theia. Some of these structures are just plain mesmerizing, soothing, like the acoustic VI or the clean, emotional vocals in IV or X, where other parts can be downright intimidatingly angry.
To top it off the addition of many well-chosen and well-placed sound effects along with the variety in vocal range not only prevents your focus from being shifted away from the tunes, but also, even more important, intensifies the overall experience. You will be taken into a world where melancholy, sadness and anger seem to compete with each other for the leading role, without ever creating an overly depressive, angry or sad atmosphere. Unlike many other releases in this genre the emotionally loaded music on Theia does not drain you from your will to live, nor does it mentally exhaust you. No small feat in my opinion. Long story short: Theia is a grand, masterfully composed work, well worth listening to and short list material for sure.