Dark Suns - Grave Human Genuine
Progressive Metal
8 songs (58:04)
Release year: 2008
Dark Suns, Prophecy
Reviewed by Goat

Modern Progressive Metal tends to be influenced by two important artists: the expressive class of Dream Theatre or the sharp-edged twisting of Meshuggah. German experimentalist threesome Dark Suns is in a league of its own from the get-go, with influences taking in both the aforementioned bands, as well a heavy amount of inspiration from Tool and Katatonia.

The best bands are able to shape their influences into something of their own, something unique, and it’s something that Dark Suns manages very well. From the opening Stampede, with its twisty downtuned riffs that are reminiscent of a less intense Meshuggah, to the following Flies In Amber, which adds both the gentle trill of a flute and harsh vocals to the mix before sliding into percussion-driven Toolish heights. When this band sounds like Tool, it doesn’t just sound like Tool; Maynard and co. could literally have materialised in the studio and performed those parts, so uncanny is the homage, but the band saves itself from mere copycat-dom with the aforementioned Chris Barnesy growls. The song hits an epic note that some bands go their entire career without achieving, before fading away on the percussion.

There are many moments here where the band simply lifts you up and away into its world, enveloping you totally, such as the gentle intro and outro sections of Thornchild, which open and close the kind of emotional Metal that Katatonia couldn’t do better. Classy Prog moments run like water here, the depths of Rapid Eyes Moment showcasing the band’s instrumental skills, whilst the electronics and piano of Amphibian Halo repaint the band’s style with an Ulver-dipped brush. Clearly, to be capable of carrying these bands’ torches Dark Suns has to be skilled, and so it is, as you’d expect a band of over ten years’ experience to be. Moments such as the sudden flurry of Black Metal in The Chameleon Defect are a pleasant surprise, the following song’s gentle piano-driven Jazz burying its memory as soon as it's gone.

Like all Prog Metal albums, Grave Human Genuine (the title reflecting the three aspects of the album: darkness, spirituality and authenticity) takes time to draw you in, and as with the best, the experience is worth it, new aspects of the music becoming apparent with every listen. Modern Prog Metal that’s capable of walking its own path is rare these days, to be treasured when it’s found, and Dark Suns deserves nothing else.

Killing Songs :
Flies In Amber, Thornchild, Amphibian Halo, Free Of You
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Dark Suns that we have reviewed:
Dark Suns - Half Light Souvenirs reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Dark Suns - Orange reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
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