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Deep Sun – Dreamland – Behind The Shade Award winner

Deep Sun
Dreamland – Behind The Shade
by Thomas Kumke at 09 May 2022, 5:36 AM

DEEP SUN were formed in 2005 and they come from Olten, Switzerland. They are a symphonic Metal band with Folk elements and so far they released one EP and now their third full-length album. “Dreamland – Behind The Shade” was produced, mixed, and mastered by Frank Pitters (DRAGONY, EDENBRIDGE, VISION OF ATLANTIS). The album as a length of more than 48 minutes and it was released by German label Massacre Records which has a number of Death, Black, and Heavy Metal bands among their roster.

For a band with a history of around 17 years, DEEP SUN have only a few releases. In fact, it took them until 2014 for releasing their debut EP and until 2016 for their debut full-length album “Race Against Time”. That might have really been the starting point for the career of the Swiss symphonic Metal band, since that album was much acclaimed by the press. It earned them the label contract with Massacre Records and it was followed by extensive touring and a second album “Das Erbe Der Welt” in 2019, which was similarly successful. Now, being an established outfit, releases seem to come in a three years cycle.

After an orchestral intro that is driven by the piano, the album starts with “Behind The Shades” and with heavy guitar riffing which quickly is joined by the orchestra. Initially starting at mid-tempo, the track slows down towards a measured tempo. While the guitars and the piano are the leading instruments, the vocals keeping it all nicely together. Debora Lavagnolo uses mostly higher pitched notes, but there is a lot of variation in her voice. “Behind The Shades” is with more than seven minutes the longest track of the album and it means that the textures are pretty complex, there are rhythm changes throughout and several solos including a Folk inspired one. “Dream Master” opens up with the symphonic instruments, where the leading melody has also a few Folk vibes. The track is subsequently mainly driven by the guitars and bass, but with a few symphonic episodes. The vocals are highly pitched and operatic at times and Debora Lavagnolo makes use of her huge vocal range for the first time. “Dream Master” is the official video and the YouTube link is given below.

Living The Dream” is one of the album highlights. It has all the attributes of an excellent symphonic Metal song: the melodies, the catchiness, the good harmony between guitars, bass, drums, and the symphonic elements, a cool lead guitar solo, and an excellent vocalist who leads the track. I am sure that “Living The Dream” has the potential to become a fan’s favorite. “Killer In A Dream” is dominated by the guitars and the vocals, while the orchestral arrangements are in the background. There are a few changes in rhythm and tempo with tight guitar riffing. Highlight of the track is the versatility of the vocals. The ballad on the album is “In Silence”. It starts with the keyboards and the vocals, while the guitars and bass join in later on. Halfway through the track, all the instruments join in and the guitar riffs are very powerful. The orchestral parts are kept in the background mainly. Towards the end, the strings have a more dominant contribution.

Secret Garden” starts heavy with the guitars at mid-tempo and transitions into a slower tempo. The vocals include a few lower and more rock oriented notes. The orchestra with the strings drive the track forward and during the down-tempo break, there is another very contributing lead guitar solo. “Mitternachtstanz” is another Folk inspired song and the lyrics come in German. The Folk melodies are catchy, and so are the chorus melodies. “Mitternachtstanz” is another album highlight, also because of the excellent lead guitar solo. It is a simple song without any complexity in textures and I am sure it becomes also a fan favorite.

Hands In Anger” is the heaviest and fastest track on the album. The guitar riffing is powerful and dark, there is double-bass drumming, and Debora Lavagnolo has growling vocal support. “Hands In Anger” sounds different compared to the other tracks on the album and it is a welcomed change of the sound. “Rogue Dreaming Leprechaun Part 2” is a continuation of the track “Dreaming Leprechaun” from the 2016 album “Race Against Time”. It is a classical symphonic Metal song with epic melodies, bombastic orchestra, and the leading melody has again plenty of Folk vibes. The album closes with “Euphoria” and, after a quiet start, DEEP SUN let loose the best elements of symphonic Metal with an epic end to the album.

There were surely high expectations on the new release from fans and public, and DEEP SUN delivered. “Dreamland – Behind The Shade” is an excellent symphonic Metal album, which has its strengths in the diversity of the sound, the melodies, and an outstanding vocalist. The songs on the album are all well composed with the songwriting being very mature. Most of the songs have a certain complexity and I like the way how different elements of symphonic Metal and traditional music are combined. “Dreamland – Behind The Shade” is not an easy-to-listen album and it was never meant to be. The album is very well produced. DEEP SUN leave their mark with the new album and “Dreamland – Behind The Shade” should be part of the collection of every symphonic Metal fan.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prologue
2. Behind The Shades
3. Dream Master
4. Living The Dream
5. Killer In A Dream
6. In Silence
7. Secret Garden
8. Mitternachtstanz
9. Hands In Anger
10. Rogue Dreaming Leprechaun Part 2
11. Euphoria
Lineup:
Debora Lavagnolo – Vocals
Stephan Riner – Guitars
Tom Hiebaum ­ Keyboards
Tobias Brutschi – Drums
Angelo Salerno – Bass
Record Label: Massacre Records
     


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