Brighter Than A Thousand Suns - The End of Suffering
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns are back, this time with a short and sweet EP titled The End of Suffering. While the EP itself is quite short, only comprised of three tracks, the band has taken many bold and innovative strides in their songwriting. Lead guitarist Randy Roswell has pushed the synthesizer, something he mastered in his early days as a musician, to the front of his arsenal of musical awesomeness with significant adeptness and fortitude. The end result is a rebirth, both of old genres and new influences, to create something entirely different in the rock scene.
Don't worry too much when you read this, dedicated fans; the band hasn't turned on its head into something unrecognizible. Its core sound remains the same: Angelika's vocals are ever-present and as powerful as they always were. The production plays a big part in their impact, both the lead and backing vocals are clearly distinguishable, pronounced just right by the reverb in the background which meshes well with the synthesizer. Their instrumental influences also remain mostly the same as well, with soaring, powerful post-hardcore riffs coupled with steady rock-inspired drumming and bass lines. The only real drastic change here is the loss of vocalist Alex Anderson, and to be honest I find it an improvement. Angelika really finds her vocal strength on this EP, something further accentuated by becoming a bigger focal point compared to Survival Machines.
Although the songwriting is mostly the same, what really swept me off my feet were the differences and improvements consistently present and easily audible in just three tracks. The synthesizer is the most prominent of these. A closer examination reveals a myriad of influences one wouldn't expect from your typical rock band, which is what sets this EP apart from its counterparts. As a whole, the general feel is quite similar to what Falling Up's recent releases have incorporated: a whimsical, melodic, and spacy atmosphere, complimenting the vocals nicely as the listener is floated off to a new world. At the same time, a surprising nu-metal influence exists which might seem scary, but thankfully the guitar work wasn't affected by it at all. Linkin Park fans will have some major nostalgia during the intro of "In the Beginning, it is Always Dark".
Apart from this, the synthesizer does a great job at creating unique sounds in conjunction with other aspects of the music. The best example of this in my opinion is the new, shreddier guitar melodies that sometimes have the tincture of Dream Theater-era power, with a quickness akin to The Omega Experiment, and other times resemble the nintendocore heard in Sky Eats Airplane. Far more often, however, is the 90's style industrial synth melodies a la Depeche Mode, which surprisingly pair very well with the usual 30STM rockiness.
All in all, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns consistently show their musical ingenuity, reviving the old in new ways while still maintaining musical relevancy to today's scene. This EP is a must for the rock fan who misses the classic power anthems of days past but is dissatisfied by the formulaic songwriting that now has overtaken the genre.