Published Nov 25, 2018Despite being the world's ninth most-populated country, and right next to Scandinavia, Russia has produced surprisingly few big metal artists. Longtime mainstays like Arkona and Catharsis have generally followed the Northern and Eastern European trends of folk and black metal, with the occasional symphonic blast. Scratch the surface, however, and you'll find a thriving underground where the grim styles of the last two decades still reign supreme.
Second to Sun fit into the early '90s of black metal. Listen to a few minutes of The Walk and you could swear you are hearing an unreleased Deathlike Silence mixtape. Fans of Mayhem, Darkthrone and Burzum will eat up tracks like "Black Lines" without hesitation. Elsewhere, "Home" and "The Owls" show that Second to Son are no third-rate wannabes, with Enslaved-style progressive tendencies and sparkling production that leans towards the newer "blackgaze" style.
These parts increase in frequency as the album chugs on, and by the time "We Are Alone" fades out to the sound of acoustic guitar strumming, it's clear that Second to Son are not afraid to break out of the mould. It may not be as bold as the Spanish guitar stylings of 2015's The First Chapter, but The Walk shows Second to Son improving in many areas and becoming more confident songwriters overall.
It won't give them superstardom like Behemoth, but it will certainly turn the heads of the record executives at Spinefarm, Candlelight and Season of Mist. Expect a record deal in the near future. (Independent)