Let it be said that Chicago's Sun Splitter is a really good band. And as really good bands do, they have continued to evolve and grow their sound as time has passed. A relatively young band whose first releases came out just last year, it's still clear that they have worked hard to define their sound and enhance their songwriting. 2011's 7" split with Bridesmaid and the II cassette on Land of Decay saw the band emerge with a heavy industrial-metal sound that was familiar but not easily traced back to any one influence or sound in particular. The band's new LP, out now on Mark Solotroff's BloodLust! label, sees Sun Splitter continuing with that same sound, yet taking it in a darker, heavier, and harsher direction.
The 5 songs on this LP, which make up almost 50 minutes of music, are blistering, droning, heavy pieces of industrial metal that sound like so much more than just the typical release from that sub-genre. These songs are aggressive yet well-written hymns to darkness and intellectual, psychological violence. Drenched with reverb and droning feedback, the songs are still complex enough and rich in melody. The psychedelic elements can be overwhelming, but they provide a another layer to the band's dense, full sound that is almost kraut-ish at times. The dark sonic bliss that this record dives into is incredibly heavy, and it feels like there is so much going on that III could in fact be in the process of splitting the sun.
This is also an album that is likely to grow on you. While that can be said of the band in general, I've found it to be especially true for this record; at first it comes across as good, but not great - but you still want to go back after that first listen because you know there's more to it, more to be found and explored. And that proves to be very true. As I said, it's a more complex record that they've done before, and that really won me over.