Band: News Sun
Band Website: www.new-sun.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2012
I think it’s safe to say the musical career path of the band New Sun is on more of a “slow burn” that a “hot boil.” This is the fourth CD since 1995 for the San Francisco based quartet, following up on their last release Expectations in 2005. Made up of Chris Trujillo (drums, vocals), Christopher Scott Cooper (guitars, vocals, keys), Alex Kley (bass) and newest member Chris Elio (vocals) the band have over the years slowly evolved their heavy-prog style in some interesting ways. Formed in 1993 at the beginning of yet another wave of new prog bands, New Sun’s musical vision always took a harder edge and that continues to this day.
Damage Doneis made up of seven compositions ranging from four-minutes up to a little over nine. Many of the classic prog elements are in place, soft, introspective parts transform into loud clashing heavier segments. Intricate instrumental work, the individual soloing, the instrumental interplay, it’s all there although it’s not always that obvious. The overall tone is dark and heavier although nowhere does it fall into the prog-metal style. Instead these tunes play their heaviness off of open and spacious musical structures. The opening track “Shards in the Sand” [9:15], the longest of the bunch is a classic example as it weaves through many different ups and downs incorporating plenty of musical change-ups along the way. While keyboards are present, they hardly ever play a prominent role for any length of time. For the most part they stay in the back, playing a supporting role. It’s the guitars that take centre stage. Lead vocals are supported on many occasions with subtle harmonies all of which creates a nice full sound in the vocal department.
On the surface the sound created by New Sun on Damage Done comes off as sparse, open, and airy even simple. And yet for all the spaciousness created, the more you spend time with these tunes the more cohesive and complex they begin to sound. This is the kind of prog that will have much appeal to fans of fringe genres like Alt-Prog. The guitar-centric approach will also appeal to prog-metal fans looking for something just a little more interestingly structured. Nicely done.