Dark Suns - Orange
Progressive Rock
10 songs (1:00:01)
Release year: 2011
Dark Suns, Prophecy
Reviewed by Goat

German Progmongers Dark Suns impressed me in 2008 with Grave Human Genuine, an album that borrowed heavily from the likes of Tool but managed to make its own experimental and enjoyable style nonetheless. Clearly deciding they’d had enough of that, the band have shifted styles altogether for fourth full-length Orange, which drops all the Toolisms and goes for full-on retro instead. It’s unfortunate for Dark Suns that bigger names such as Opeth and Pain Of Salvation have followed similar paths of late, and also unfortunate for Dark Suns that both those bands were the first things that popped into my head on my first listen to Orange. Yet, with time, it soon becomes clear that they’ve done it again, and that the various influences that went into Orange have coalesced to form a great album, significantly different from the aforementioneds’ recent efforts.

As opening track Toy proves, all of the quirk and experimental structures of Grave Human Genuine are still in play, even with jazz trumpets and organ solos instead of syncopated riffing. Gleefully catchy without seeming to be and eminently listenable, it’s hard to dislike this new Dark Suns if you’re a prog fan. The instrumental complexity is excellent, lots of little touches like the background piano trills in Eight Quiet Minutes adding colour and life. Vocals shift between deep singing and light, harsh vocals nonexistent but never necessary. Uniform in style but with lots of variation, Orange is a delightful listen. Hard not to love the languid musings of Not Enough Fingers, the organ-ic stomp and soulful murmur of Ghost, or the chaotic Mars Volta-esque cacophony that opens That Is Why They All Hate You In Hell. The groovy rockin’ of Elephant (very Road Salt One-y!) is as enjoyable as the quirky King Crimsonite jamming of Diamond, complete with a lovely singalong chorus.

Which is really how prog should be, when all is said and done, challenging and enjoyable, pretty and powerful, technical yet with a hook to bend your ear. The classic 70s-styled vocal melodies interwoven into Vespertine are a great example, providing a catchy moment between proggy instrumental sections full of ominous jazzy blasts. It’s testament to how Dark Suns’ songwriting skills have improved even more. When the worst you can say about an album is that it’s a bit long (and I wouldn’t want to lose any songs at all, also the mark of quality) then you know you’re onto a good thing – which Orange most certainly is.

Killing Songs :
Toy, Eight Quiet Minutes, Diamond, Ghost, Vespertine, Scaleman
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Dark Suns that we have reviewed:
Dark Suns - Half Light Souvenirs reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Dark Suns - Grave Human Genuine reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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