Founded in Switzerland in 2020 as a solo project and now ensconced in Finland as a full band with a new lineup following its founder’s move, the melodic death metal group As the Sun Falls have firmly planted their flag in the audio territory of “Northern Melancholy”.
It’s a soundscape where giants stride and cast long shadows. Such better-known bands as Before the Dawn, Wolfheart, and In Mourning readily come to mind.
As the Sun Falls proudly follow in those footsteps, immersing listeners in earthshaking yet evocative experiences that are steeped in sorrow and are best heard in winter. And if you don’t live in a Nordic land of forest and snow, no matter, because the music will quite powerfully transport you there in a state of solitude, where the distressing contemplation of mortality becomes inescapable.
There is a risk, of course, that As the Sun Falls may be hidden in the shadows of bands such as those mentioned above. They are so devoted to their particular sound that the risk is probably inescapable. But they’ve minimized the risk because they’re so damned good at what they’ve chosen to do, and because they’re just as dedicated to finding their own musical personality.
As an example of their captivating power, what we have for you today is a song called “The Wanderer” from the band’s new EP Where The Silence Reigns, which is set for release on October 13th to coincide with the group’s forthcoming European Tour.
The EP includes a total of three songs. They were recorded during last winter (of course!) during the band’s sessions for their forthcoming second album. These songs won’t be on the album, but as you’ll discover from listening to “The Wanderer“, it’s fortunate for us that the band chose to release them in this format.
Hopefully you won’t be misled by what you’ve already read into thinking that “The Wanderer” will be a gloomy trudge through snow-drifts piled high. To the contrary, despite the melancholy cast of its moods, the song will give your adrenaline a swift and sure-footed kick.
As this song begins, glistening strummed notes, musing bass tones, and other sounds of an old folk instrument begin creating an enticing spell, but one that’s already leaking melancholy. The relative airiness of the experience just makes the impact of what comes next even more stupendous.
What comes next is an immense roar that goes on and on, tension-packed tremolo chords, the livid hammering of drums, and a slowly wailing melody that deepens the mood of sorrow.
The growled and howled vocals are themselves striking in their passion and power, and the band add to the electricity of that experience with rapidly jabbing and darting fretwork and booming percussion. But they also magnify the scale and sweep of the song with a lonely but piercing melody that slowly maneuvers through the high end above the feverish turmoil below.
The song also includes a vivid descending arpeggio that gets stuck in the head deeper and deeper every time it surfaces (the same thing happens with that shining yet sorrowing melody that floats above the turbulence), and ethereal shimmering overlays that continue creating visions toward cold far horizons.
When the song reaches its crescendo of intensity near the end, a long scream of agony pierces the ears, just before the band come full circle to where the song began.
Here’s a comment from the band that we’ll share with you now:
“The Wanderer” is a song penned by Jani Mikkänen, the band’s primary songwriter and founding member. It beautifully conveys deep sadness and loss, evoking a sense of anchored melancholy that compels us to seek the unknown beyond the horizon. The song taps into our innate desire for travel and exploration, resonating with the universal human longing to discover new horizons.
“The new EP, Where The Silence Reigns, serves as a prelude to the upcoming full-length album, set to release in 2024. This collection comprises three tracks, each infused with beautiful haunting melodies and influenced by the untamed Nordic nature. While these tracks didn’t make it to the final selection for the album, they offer a unique and deeply melancholic musical experience on their own, creating a story of a lonely Wanderer’s end.”
AS THE SUN FALLS is:
Mikko Voutilainen – Vocals
Jani Mikkänen – Guitars & Vocals
Lauri Unkila – Guitars
Oskar Englund – Bass
Paul Rytkönen – Drums
More info about the EP can be found via the links below, and we’re also including a stream of another enthralling song from the new EP that previously premiered. Its name is “Trees As My Gravestone“.
After that song stream you’ll also find the dates for As the Sun Falls‘ forthcoming tour, where they’ll be accompanied by Aeonian Sorrow and Sanity Obscure.
03.11.23 // PL // Warsaw
04.11.23 // DE // Berlin
05.11.23 // FR // Lille
06.11.23 // BE // Diest
08.11.23 // DE // Morlenbach
09.11.23 // DE // Hamburg
10.11.23 // LT // Kaunas
11.11.23 // LV // Riga
17.11.23 // FI // Tampere
18.11.23 // FI // Vantaa