20 Oct 2021 - Thorsten
Blackened Funeral Doom | code666 / Aural Music | Release date: 22 Oct 2021
How to find a good record to review: Step 1 – good name? Ember Sun; okay check! Step 2 – good label? Code666; definitely check! Step 3 – acceptable cover? skulls on dark dark green with a dichotomy of modern script and old-looking symbols; okay check! Step 4 – appearance? hooded figure; definitely check! Step 5 – genre? Funeral Doom; always check! Step 6 – listen! CHECK, we got a winner!
If you ever wondered what a child spawned by (mid-period) Paradise Lost and (early-period) Type-O-Negative would sound like, Ember Sun is your answer! That sounds like a shallow shell somehow or more like surreptitiously corrupt copycat (or copykill?!) but when listening to On Earth And Heaven one thing becomes clear: Lorthar, the guy behind Ember Sun, who has played in a multitude of bands in Greece is doing this solo project because he loves both genres and is able to bring forth some really interesting songs with a very specific character.
That starts already with the very first tunes of the opening track ”Swallowed Back Into My Sorrow” which sounds a slightly industrialized guitar string reverberating before the advent of the first riff, combined with the gentle ambient-synth passage accompanying it, this makes for a very modern intro and not something that simply tries to follow the role models. When the song then kicks in after roughly 90 seconds it is as if the dark sun has gone and its creatures are praying to it for its glory giving them life.
That slightly industrial notion always glimmers through, like a metallic element in the dying embers of an ancient fire. The embers are unable to ignite or deform the metal which keeps its form and shape as if trying to embarrass the proud fire, but maybe it’s also the metal which keeps the embers strong and rescinding more slowly, slowing down the process of death and decay. The “ember sun” is, of course, a strong motive in this context, as it gives life while it’s already dying. And somehow that also applies to the record itself: it sounds like the strong message from a person left to walk the last line. Alone. Thus the record is the penultimate attempt to purvey the ideas and message to the survivors, as the ember is fading and with it life itself. Life or the memory of life as it was before. In that sense the songs are the memories and they are fading. Fading like the elegiac energy spread by the combination of classic Gothic elements – synths and guitars, both carrying the same melody. Memories of the life of our protagonist are fading and as memories are the only thing clinging onto existence longer than a person’s last breath, thus the person itself will soon be lost in the depths of the unknown and unremembered, the former real life lost in the realms of non-existence.
When listening to ”The Chapel”, the fifth of the six tracks together running for a total of 45 minutes, you can witness a very impressive form of Industrial Gothic with lots of field recordings (crows, winds, etc.) paired with a strong sense of foreboding radiated by the bells and the fuzzy drums which nearly snarl at the audience, hissing, showing that this is no ordinary song but more of the beginning of the end, of the final chapter. The last thing after this track is the ending of all life, corporeal or memo-real: ”My Essence Fades In Time” we hear the last attachments to the world of living fade away before the lost one looks at it all via one dark, sinister last epic. The narrator is dying like those before him and after that memories will slowly follow him in and into time.
We must admit that Ember Sun are not re-inventing the Doom genre with all the elements from Gothic and Industrial metal, but Lorthar sure as hell and death did an awesome job of combining all these different bits and pieces into a coherent chant of life and death!