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Behind the Sun: Behind the Sun

Joining the ranks of Soul Enema and Orphaned Land, Behind the Sun are another band from Israel, a short list to be sure but if the music is anywhere near the quality exhibited by those two bands, Behind the Sun should be interesting at the very least. Their debut self-titled release is much more than that, as a matter of fact it is exceptional. Behind the Sun are Dan Henry Levy (bass), Gad Erez (vocals), Saar Gur (drums) and Aaron Lieber (lead and rhythm guitars).

This is another excellent album especially when you consider it is the band's first. They are influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath, Tool, Pearl Jam, Blue Oyster Cult and Opeth. That said, Behind the Sun are their own band and have released a disc with their own signature sound, never relying too much on their influences.

The album's cover artwork is a hint of what is in store for you once you put on those headphones. The depiction of a solitary person trudging underneath the burning sun over a bleak landscape conjures images of melancholy and emptiness. If you guessed this is not happy music you would be correct but it isn't depressing either. The band sings of life in a harsh environment and I suppose the Negev Desert, where the band is from, is just that. The lyrics are well done and can in fact be quite heady as Leiber has a knack for using his words to paint colourful pictures that tell some pretty compelling stories and Erez does a fine job with the lead vocals . In the progressive tinged "Running Water" where changing tempos and guitar riffs dominate, Eraz sings "I could live out my days in this familiar cage/Content to know these thoughts are mine/But after all these years I have no face left to save/Just a random collection of lines." The band goes for real stories about life and the hardships that we all must face.

The album's opening track "Second December" starts with medieval sounding acoustic guitar before the heavier chords crash down and a post rock atmosphere takes hold. Some of the riffage has a subtle BOC feel which is not a bad thing in my book. "Wishful Thinking" has a jazzy/post rock feel with laid back vocals and a whole lot of catchiness. Beautiful acoustic strumming highlight the sorrowful but pretty "Sour Days", a lovesong with a darker edge. The words match the moodiness of the music as Erez sings "I wish that I could find/The back door to my mind/A safe haven in my head/That will stop me from going blind/A crack of light in this fuzzy gray/To lift the blockings from my way." The album ends with "Strong Wind" a nice combination of acoustic and electric guitar with a definite space rock vibe. The subtle use of keyboards adds a wash of colour to the guitar architecture of which this song is built. An excellent tune ending what is a fine album.

Behind the Sun mixes traditional rock and metal with a post rock mystique that makes for a totally absorbing listen. Anyone who likes edgy, modern rock will surely be hitting the repeat button. I know I did.

Track Listing:
1. Second December
2. Wishful Thinking
3. Nothing But A Stain
4. Prelude
5. Still
6. Running Water
7. The Professionals
8. Fifteenth Dawn
9. Sour Days
10. October '77
11. Brother
12. Strong Wind

Added: January 30th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2349
Language: english

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