Progressive metal, as it’s very name suggests, can and should be taken in any direction imaginable. While the overarching genre has stagnated to a point that there is a definitive “progressive” sound, there are still bands willing to experiment with their music. Behind the Sun is included in the ranks of newer acts that aren’t afraid to try something a little new, as exemplified by the wide range of influences heard on their debut EP, Post Solis. The title of the EP is also the Latin translation of the band name, which doesn’t affect the music at all, but you know what, I think that’s pretty cool.
There is a massive amount of technical skill put on display throughout the five tracks included on Post Solis. Intense and complicated playing can be heard from every instrument involved, and in a variety of styles to boot. But while intricacy is far from foreign to progressive metal, Behind the Sun actually uses it well. There’s no track that serves as an eight minute “look what I can do!” session; the complexity actually suits the songs and doesn’t overwhelm anything. The talent is there, and it’s put to good use by creating a natural sounding merge between progressive metal, death metal, hardcore punk/metalcore, and even several genres entirely unrelated to metal. For a progressive EP, Post Solis doesn’t sound terribly distinct from other bands (which is arguably the purpose of a “progressive” release), but if you’re willing to look beyond that, it’s still a quality release with some impressive craftsmanship behind it.
In addition to the brilliant structuring of the instrumental bits, the vocals are fairly interesting. The style that is heard most often on the EP is one that dances between death metal, brutal death metal, and hardcore vocals. While I personally wasn’t too impressed with them, it’s not long before an array of different vocal styles come into play, both harsh and clean. There truly is a lot going on within this short release; even still, it’s not difficult to follow and doesn’t demand all of the listener’s attention. The use of the classic choppy, almost chugging sound that is so typical of prog and hardcore derivatives admittedly gets a little grating, but within the context of the majority of melodies heard on the EP, it does sound good. It is worth noting here that the album picks up significantly after the brief middle track, as “Periapsis” and “Laniakea” are without a doubt the highlights of Post Solis. When you’re dealing with such a large variety of sounds, it’s to be expected that not everything is going to click with everyone.
Post Solis combines the better aspects of the genres that Behind the Sun is influenced by into a cleanly produced collection of five tracks. While it’s ultimately not terribly ambitious in what it does, the EP is far from uninspired and will likely hold any listener for the full duration. If you have even a mild interest in the progressive side of heavy metal, Post Solis is certainly worth looking into. Or studying, or gazing upon, or absorbing into your being, I don’t know what you progressive fans like to call it, just check out the EP.
Post Solis is now available independently through Behind the Sun’s Bandcamp page.